My favorite way to plan a meal is to start with an ingredient that excites me, and then build around it. I was browsing the cheese section at the grocery store last week when I came across some Maplebrook Farm Handmade Smoked Mozzarella. Despite living in MA now, I tend to be pretty loyal to VT food producers, and on top of that, I’m a sucker for smoked cheeses, but they don’t usually fit into my budget. Well, imagine my excitement when I saw that this VT product was labeled “Manger’s Special,” and was only about $2.50. I was a goner.
I settled on a frittata primarily for nutrition reasons, and secondarily for deliciousness reasons. I try to make protein a priority in every meal, and the thought of smoked cheese and tofu just wasn’t working for me. I thought that the sweetness of caramelized onions and the acidity of fresh tomatoes would work well with the smoky, saltiness of the cheese. I hate when food doesn’t have enough color, so at the last minute, I added some baby spinach. Oh, and the nice thing about smoked cheese is that it packs a big flavor punch, so you can still get the flavor without using a lot of it. I was figuring it out as I went, so I probably used more cheese than I really needed to. Ok, ok, here’s the recipe.
Smoked Mozzarella, Tomato, Caramelized Onion Frittata
1/3 cup liquid egg whites (or equivalent from whole eggs)
2 tbsp milk (any will work)
3 tomatoes: 2 tomatoes sliced in rounds, 1 diced
Handful of baby spinach
1 cup shredded smoked mozzarella cheese
Salt & Pepper
Herbs (I used a dash of basil and oregano)
Slice the onion lengthwise into thin slices. Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they are soft and darker in color. If they start to burn, lower the heat and continue cooking. I think mine took about 25 minutes. It’s helpful to Google how to caramelize onions if you’re not familiar with the process. Once the onions are done, add the diced tomato and baby spinach to the pan until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, egg whites, milk, herbs, salt and pepper, and about 3/4 cup of shredded cheese. Add the onion/tomato/spinach mixture to the eggs. Oil (or spray) an oven-safe frying pan, and heat over medium heat until the pan is hot. I like to use a 10-inch pan for frittatas. Once the pan is hot, add in the egg/vegetable mixture. Layer the tomato slices on top. I did this purely because I thought it would look pretty. It did until I covered the slices with cheese. Oh well.
Cook until it has set, and only the top appears uncooked. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese on top, and place under the broiler until the top has set, and the cheese is bubbly. I should add that sometimes tomatoes cause there to be little pockets of uncooked egg, which is what happened in this instance. Once it was done under the broiler, I put the frittata in the oven at 350 for about 15 minutes, and that solved the problem. I’m sure that there are better frittata techniques out there. I was just too far into it to change what I was doing.
I’m not going to lie. This recipe took awhile, between slicing and dicing everything, caramelizing the onions, layering ingredients, and waiting for everything to cook, but the combination of flavors made it so worth it. Enjoy!