We have four chickens here in Umbria, and usually get three freshly laid eggs every day. I am not sure which chicken isn’t doing her part, but I have a feeling it is the one that is much larger in size than the other three. Getting my own fresh eggs from chickens I raise myself is priceless, and is an experience I really do appreciate. Unfortunately though, there are times when I do not use eggs on a daily basis, and before I know it my egg container is overflowing. When I experience a surplus of eggs, I like to make a frittata for us to enjoy at lunch with a nice crispy green salad. I recently made this tasty frittata using up some very ripe tomatoes I had sitting on my windowsill, along with some creamy buffalo mozzarella. We have herbs growing all over our property, and by late some to early fall they are the size of bushes, so I try and use fresh herbs in all my cooking. Of course, when you think of mozzarella and tomatoes together, you must add fresh basil! The term Caprese, of course, refers to the ever popular Caprese salad that originated on the Isle of Capri consisting of fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil, which resembles the Italian flag since it is red, white and green.
This frittata was baked in the oven in a tart pan, so was more like a crustless quiche than the usual stovetop frittata. To ensure that the frittata did not stick to the pan, I added a little flour to the beaten eggs and lightly coated the pan with oil and breadcrumbs. The surprise ingredient in this recipe is of course the quinoa. I am embracing a primarily plant based diet and am using quinoa in many of my recipes. I am sure that everyone is now aware of this amazing seed, which is often confused as a grain. Quinoa cooks up quickly (in about 15 minutes), is a superior source of plant based complete protein, and is gluten free. I added a cup of cooked quinoa to this frittata to add extra nutrition. I found however, that the quinoa also kept the frittata light and moist, even after it was stored in the refrigerator for a day or two. This frittata would be great served at brunch, lunch, or even as a light dinner entree along with a big mixed salad.
Two of my four “girls”.
Deborah Mele 2014
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1/2 Cup Breadcrumbs
- 7 Large Eggs
- 1 Cup Half & Half (or Whole Milk)
- 1/4 Cup All-purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 Cups Chopped Ripe Tomatoes
- 1 Cup Diced Fresh Mozzarella
- 4 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Basil
- 1/2 Cup Grated Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Cup Cooked Quinoa
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Grease a 9 or 10 inch round baking dish with the olive oil, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top.
- Turn the pan to coat the bottom and sides with the crumbs, discarding any extra.
- In a bowl, beat together the eggs, half and half, and flour until well mixed.
- Stir in the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, grated cheese and quinoa.
- Season with salt and pepper, then pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
- Bake for about 50 to 55 minutes on the center rack, until the center is firm to the touch.
- Cool for at least 15 minutes, then run a knife around the the outer edge and slice into wedges.