Smoked Mozzarella, Tomato, and Caramelized Onion Frittata

Smoked Mozzarella, Tomato, and Onion Frittata

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

6 eggs

1/3 cup liquid egg whites (or equivalent from whole eggs)

2 tbsp milk (any will work)

1 onion

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)

Frittata Prep

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.

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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!

Mushroom and artichoke frittata

Frittatas are one of my favorite things to make when I have veggies on hand. It’s a good way to get in some protein without having a heavy meal and it is so easy to adapt, depending on what veggies and cheese you have on hand. It is especially great in the spring and summer when great local produce is available. I like to have a slice of frittata with a nice salad and some crusty bread. My favorite crusty bread in the Boston area is Iggy’s Francese. It’s delicious and fairly healthy! I always have a carton of Egg Beaters in the fridge, so if there isn’t enough liquid for the amount of veggies, I just add in some Egg Beaters and a couple tablespoons of milk.

Mushroom and artichoke heart frittata (4 servings)

1 tsp olive oil
2 eggs
2 egg whites
15 oz. can artichoke hearts, quartered
1 red pepper, roasted and diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms (I like crimini, but white mushrooms would work)
4 oz. crumbled feta cheese
1 clove garlic, minced

In an oven-proof saute pan, heat 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Saute mushrooms until they just start to brown. Add garlic and continue to cook until mushrooms have softened. Add red pepper and artichoke hearts and cook for 1 minute. Remove veggies from pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, beat together eggs and egg whites. Spray the saute pan with cooking spray. Add veggies back into pan and pour the egg mixture over them. Continue to cook over medium heat until about 3/4 of the way up the pan has cooked through. Sprinkle the feta cheese evenly over the top of the frittata. Place in over under broiler and broil until the top is no longer wet and the cheese begins to brown.

Remove from oven. Cut into 4 servings and serve with salad and bread.