Sunday, March 18, 2012

Sunday Morning Frittata

I like to empty out my fridge of leftovers on Sunday mornings and take inspiration to create something delicious for brunch. My challenge this morning was to use up some grilled peppers and zucchini from last night's steak dinner, which I decided to incorporate into this fabulous frittata.

Frittatas are essentially the Italian version of a Spanish omelet, except much easier to prepare. Instead of placing the filling into the cooked egg, the ingredients are all mixed together with the eggs as a mishmash and cooked as one, then finished off under the broiler.

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/2 cup grilled roasted peppers (any combination), thinly sliced
1/2 cup grilled zucchini, thinly sliced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
8 mushrooms, sliced
6 eggs, beaten
Pinch smoked paprika
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 slices Havarti cheese, cut into strips
2 oz Chevre (goats cheese), crumbled
10 cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
Cilantro for garnish

1. Melt coconut oil on medium heat in a medium-sized oven proof skillet (I use cast iron, because it significantly increases the iron content in your food during the cooking process, especially when cooking acidic foods like tomatoes**).
2. Add mushrooms, grilled vegetables and scallions and cook until lightly browned, about 10 minutes.
3. In a separate bowl, combine eggs, paprika, pepper flakes, salt and pepper.
4. Pour ingredients into the skillet and stir to blend ingredients. Cook uncovered, about 10 minutes until the eggs are set. Place the Havarti, Chevre and tomatoes (cut side up) onto the frittata.
5. Place frittata under pre-heated broiler on middle rack and cook for about 4-6 minutes, until puffed.
Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serves 4

And while on the topic of cookware...I thought I would share my opinion and some information on some of the types of cookware that I prefer to use.

Don't throw out your grandmother's old cast iron pans...!

I don't believe in using non-stick cookware. TEFLON - or non-stick cooking pans are generally deemed safe, if used according to manufacturers specifications, however if a pot or pan is left to overheat, then the toxic chemicals (perflurooctanoic acid or PFOA, also known as C-8) can be released into the food and simultaneously into the air. PFOA is a known carcinogen, so why take the chance?

My favourite skillet is made from cast iron, which is known for its durability and even heat distribution and can help ensure that eaters in the house get enough iron - which the body needs to produce red blood cells. The majority of my pots and pans are made from stainless steel, which contains nickel, chromium and molybdenum, all elements the body requires. It is safe to use in cooking as long as the pans aren't overly dinged and pitted, which would enable some of the metals to leach into food. At low amounts the toxicity is negligible. There are literally hundreds of stainless steel cookware brands out there. Try and find a brand that offers at least 18 gauge steel. Top of the line cookware is between 5-7 gauge, but quite expensive.

I use anodized aluminum bakeware, which is safer than straight aluminum as the electro-chemical anodizing process locks in the aluminum, so that it can't leach into the food. Check out brands like Calphalon (try and find the ones made in the US) - or All Clad, although most are made off-shore and may contain traces of toxic lead.
Ceramic coated cookware, such a Le Creuset and Emilie Henry has been commonly used in Europe for years, is safe as long as the ceramic coating is intact. Copper is great for even heat distribution and quick heating, but the copper can leak into food when its heated, so make sure you choose cookware that has been coated with tin or stainless steel. Popular brands are: Baumalu, De Buyer and Pierre Vergnes, or the Williams and Sonoma line.
Glass cookware is 100% safe, as far as toxicity, but the disadvantage is breakage. Stove top brands are Visions and oven/microwave varieties include Corning and Pyrex.
The type of cookware you use is really a combination of  personal choice and the type of range you are cooking on. The world is really your oyster here. There is cookware to suit every taste and budget, so a trip to the kitchen supply store, where you can talk to a professional can definitely help with the decision making process. Happy Cooking!


  1. Not only does this look good, and make me wish I had a beautiful, well seasoned cast iron pan, but that picture!! Wowsa, Marlies, BEAUTIFUL!!

  2. You know, Jeanine - I often see cast iron pans at one of my favourite Thrift stores...I am ALL about Reduce. Reuse. Recycle - so I pick up much of my bake/cookware there...I have a bit of a fetish in this department - baking pans being my absolute faves! And...thanks for the comment! :)

  3. I ALWAYS check the thrift stores for pots & pans! Love it, but have never come across a good cast iron skillet there yet. But, the great thing about the thrift store is that as long as you keep looking, you will eventually find what you're looking for.