It’s fair to say that I wouldn’t normally be drawn to the idea of making a vegetarian frittata. The more chorizo, salami and bacon the better. The Perky Kebab is most definitely in the anti-vegetarian camp and the look of horror on his face when I announced we what we were having for lunch said it all.
But it just so happened that as I was perusing my Valvona & Crolla cookbook (purchased by the Perky Kebab no less so talk about making your bed and all that…), I spotted a recipe that would handily use up the left over spinach, broad beans and mint that I had in the fridge together with some of the eggs I seem to have taken to stockpiling recently.
Whilst not initially being overly enthusiastic about this recipe, it turned out to be one of the best frittatas I’ve ever made. Even the Perky Kebab loved it. I would love to be able to say that it’s deliciousness is purely down to the healthy vegetable content. Alas no. The healthy dose of garlic and chilli flakes included, together with the chunk of grated parmesan are definitely key players in the taste stakes, though let’s not forget the fresh mint, which works so well with broad beans.
It’s incredibly easy and quick (particularly if your broad beans are already cooked) to whip up, making it a perfect mid-week supper or weekend lunch. Served with some bread and salad on the side it tastes like a bit of summer on your plate.
Huge bonus points also came from the fact the recipe doesn’t ask you to pop the broad beans from their skins once cooked. I know they taste wonderful when you do, but sometimes life is just too short to pod 4 portions of broad beans!
Broad Bean & Spinach Frittata
Adapted from Valvona & Crolla A Year At An Italian Table by Mary Contini
Serves 4 as a light lunch with accompanying salad and bread
3-4 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
1 small pinch dried chilli flakes
250g fresh spinach, roughly chopped
100g broad beans (podded weight)
6 large eggs
A generous handful of mint, finely chopped
50-75g pecorino or parmesan, grated
A small knob of butter
Salt & pepper
1. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a medium frying pan. Add the garlic and chilli flakes and sauté for 1 minute to release their flavours. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted (about 2-3 minutes). Transfer to a plate to cool.
2. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the broad beans. Cook for 3-5 minutes (depending on size) until tender but not mushy. Drain them, then run cold water through them to stop them cooking and keep their colour.
3. Break the eggs into a bowl and whisk together. Add the spinach, broad beans, mint, pecorino/parmesan, a good grind of black pepper and a little salt. Mix well.
4. Turn on the grill to about 180°c. Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil and the butter in the frying pan over a low heat. Add the egg mixture and cook slowly until almost set – about 5 minutes. Once almost set, place under the grill until browned on top and cooked through. It should rise up a little too.
5. Serve either immediately, or allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerating it makes it a little rubbery so try to avoid that if possible.