In my travels I’ve found several dishes that repeat in almost every culture. Braised rice with meat can be found anywhere along the equator. In India it’s pilau. In Russia, pilav. Pilaf in the Middle East, paella in Spain, and Jambolaya in Lousiana and the islands.
Perhaps no dish is as repeated as egg casseroles. Stratas, quiches, and frittatas are familiar in the US
but there are many more variations all over the world. From Japanese tamagoyaki to Persian kuku and eggah to African bobotie, set egg dishes can be found everywhere. The genre could even be broadened to include whole egg bakes like shakshuka and huevos rancheros, almost identical dishes that hail from North Africa and Mexico, respectively.
Frittatas hold a special place in my heart. They’re mid-afternoon snack fair in Venice, served at room temp in ever coffee shop. They can be filled with just about any meat or fresh vegetables you have handy and take about 15 minutes to cook, from start to finish.
To prepare a frittata, simply sautee your vegetables until most of the juice has evaporated. You’ll want to add just a little more salt than usual to your vegetables so you don’t have to season the eggs. Cover the veggies with beaten egg and a little whole milk (about ¼ cup milk for every 4 eggs). Continue to cook over low heat until the bottom is set and the top still runny. If you’re brave you can flip the eggs, otherwise simply finish in a broiler.
6 beaten eggs
¼ cup whole milk
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced goathorn peppers
1 cup zucchini
1 cup chopped squash blossoms
¼ cup marigold blossoms
¼ cup each basil, lemon balm, chives, minced
¼ cup olive oil
Sautee the onion, peppers, and zucchini in olive oil. It’s best to over-season them just a little so that you don’t have to add salt to the eggs. Beat the eggs and milk, add the blossoms and herbs, and cover your sauteed vegetables with the egg mix. Continue to cook on low heat until the bottom is set and lifts easily from the pan. The top will still be runny so it is up to you how to finish this… If you’re brave you can attempt to flip the frittata, the easiest way is to slide it onto a plate, cover it with the pan and invert. Or you can simply finish the your frittata in the broiler!