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Easy dinner recipes: Tempting frittata ideas for Meatless Monday

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When you're short on time and/or energy, dinner doesn't get much easier than a frittata. Heat a pan, add some beaten eggs and flavorings and cook to puffed perfection. That's it. Substantial enough to eat on its own, you can also serve it alongside a colorful salad, or thinly sliced as an appetizer or first course. Frittatas are easy to make and are versatile, perfect for breakfast or brunch, even dinner. Stop by the store for a few select ingredients, or improvise with what you have at home (even leftovers). Serve slices hot, fresh out of the pan, or make the frittata ahead of time and cool to room temperature before setting slices out on the table.

Artichoke and sun-dried tomato frittata: The flavors of artichoke hearts and sun-dried tomatoes are combined with cheddar and Parmesan cheeses and fresh basil, parsley and chives in this colorful frittata.

RECIPES: 99 easy dinner ideas in about an hour or less

Wild mushroom frittata: Love mushrooms? You can't beat this frittata combining thinly sliced wild mushrooms with tangy creme fraiche, Pecorino Romano, sliced garlic and shallot, and fresh thyme and chives.

Nettle frittata with green garlic and ricotta: Fresh nettles may be known for their sting, but cooked, they add delicate, almost nutty notes to many a dish. Nettles, green garlic and ricotta combine in a simple yet flavorful frittata, ready in about 30 minutes.

You can find the recipes below.

And for more ideas, click through our easy dinner recipes gallery and check out our Dinner Tonight page, devoted to recipes that can be made in an hour or less. Looking for a particular type of recipe? Comment below or email me at noelle.carter@latimes.com.

QUICK & EASY: 99 terrific recipes in about an hour or less

ARTICHOKE AND SUN-DRIED TOMATO FRITTATA

About 1 hour, plus cooling time

Serves 12

3 cups drained, coarsely chopped canned artichoke hearts (canned in water)

1 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped fresh chives

1 cup julienned basil

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

3 cups grated sharp white cheddar cheese

1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan

15 eggs

2 cups heavy cream

3/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 12-by-9-inch casserole dish.

2. In a bowl, toss the artichokes, tomatoes, chives, basil and parsley, and cheddar and Parmesan cheeses together gently. Spread evenly in the dish.

3. Whisk together the eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Pour over vegetable mixture.

4. Put the frittata in a larger pan, and add enough hot water to reach halfway up the side of the frittata dish.

5. Bake until the top is lightly golden, then cover with foil and continue baking until the frittata is set (a knife inserted should come out clean), 40 to 50 minutes. Cool slightly before slicing. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Each serving: 388 calories; 19 grams protein; 8 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 31 grams fat; 18 grams saturated fat; 320 mg cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 538 mg sodium

Note: Adapted from Gayle's Bakery & Rosticcera.

WILD MUSHROOM FRITTATA

Total time: 30 minutes

Servings: 6

Note: From David Lentz at the Hungry Cat

12 eggs

3/4 cup creme fraiche, divided

1 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups thinly sliced shallots (about 5 to 6)

6 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced

2 cups cleaned, sliced mushrooms, wild if available, such as chanterelles or morels (cultivated types such as cremini may be combined or substituted)

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

Salt and pepper

1 tablespoon chopped chives

Sea salt

1. Whisk together the eggs, one-fourth cup creme fraiche and the cheese until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet or cast iron pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and butter and heat until the butter bubbles but is not yet turning brown. Add the shallots and garlic and cook over medium to medium-low heat until tender and beginning to brown, about 3 to 4 minutes.

3. Add the mushrooms and thyme and cook until the mushrooms are tender, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

4. Stir the egg mixture to recombine, then pour it over the mushroom mixture. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Use a rubber spatula to even out and distribute the mushroom-shallot mixture. Cook until the bottom is set and the edges begin to shrink a little, about 5 to 8 minutes. Meanwhile, set the oven rack at least 6 inches away from the broiler and heat the broiler.

5. When the bottom is set, finish the frittata by broiling briefly until the top is just set, 1 to 2 minutes. Do not brown.

6. Remove the frittata from the oven and loosen it from the pan with a spatula. To serve, cut into wedges and top each with a dollop of creme fraiche and a sprinkling of chopped chives and sea salt.

Each of 6 servings: 378 calories; 24 grams protein; 14 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 26 grams fat; 12 grams saturated fat; 461 mg. cholesterol; 504 mg. sodium.NETTLE FRITTATA WITH GREEN GARLIC AND RICOTTA
Total time: About 30 minutesServes 6
Note: Adapted from "Local Flavors" by Deborah Madison. Stinging nettles are available at many local farmers markets. When handling the nettles, wear latex or exam gloves; rinse them in a sink full of cold water to remove any dirt. Carefully remove the leaves from the stalks.3 cups washed nettle leaves2 tablespoons olive oil1 head green garlic, minced (can substitute 2 garlic cloves)1 cup finely chopped onionSea salt and freshly ground pepper8 large eggs1/3 cup pecorino Romano, grated1/2 cup ricotta1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1. Heat the broiler. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the nettles and, using tongs or rubber gloves, put them into the water and blanch them, for about 1 minute. Drain and when cool enough to handle, press out the water, chop into a rough cut and reserve.

2. Warm the olive oil in a 10-inch skillet. Add the garlic and onion and cook over low heat until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the nettles and season with salt and pepper.

3. Beat the eggs with one-half teaspoon salt, then stir the nettle and onion mixture into the bowl and add the Pecorino. Add the ricotta, leaving it a little streaky.

4. Wipe out the skillet and return it to the heat with the butter. When the butter has foamed then subsided, pour in the egg mixture. Stir until the ingredients are emulsified. Turn the heat to medium-low and cook until the eggs have set up around the edges and are golden on the bottom, about 6 to 7 minutes. The center will be slightly jiggly.

5. Slide the pan under the broiler and cook until the top is set and golden, about 1 minute. Check to see that the eggs are cooked (the frittata should be set in the center); cool slightly or to room temperature before serving.

Each serving: 233 calories; 14 grams protein; 5 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 18 grams fat; 7 grams saturated fat; 304 mg. cholesterol; 430 mg. sodium.

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