“Here is an example of a frittata’s versatility: You can invent one by creatively using ingredients you have on hand. As part of my share of a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), I recently received radishes and baby turnips. My first thought was “roasted root vegetables” and my second was “frittata.” I served this frittata during a dinner with friends and it was greatly appreciated. So the following week, when I found more radishes and baby turnips in my weekly share, I rejoiced—and made my frittata again.”—Simona Carini
- 8 ounces mixed radishes and baby turnips
- 1 leek, white and pale green part only, cleaned, sliced crosswise ½-inch thick
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Leaves of several sprigs of thyme
- 6 eggs of good quality, preferrably from pastured poultry
- 3 tablespoons water
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Preheat oven to 375°F and oil an 8-inch (20 cm) square pan.
- Cut the radish and baby turnip greens ½ inch (about 1 cm) above the root and set greens aside for another use*. Gently scrub the radishes and baby turnips, then cut in bite-size pieces.
- Place cut radishes, baby turnips and leeks in a bowl. Add thyme, spray olive oil with a mister (or add a bit of olive oil) and stir to coat well. Transfer the vegetables to the oiled baking pan.
- Bake until the radishes and baby turnips are tender, making sure the leek does not turn brown, stirring once or twice. Check for doneness after 20 minutes, then continue checking every 5 minutes until fully tender and cooked through.
- Remove the vegetables from the oven and turn on the broiler. Coat the bottom of an oven-proof skillet with 1 tablespoon olive oil and place over low heat. Break the eggs in a bowl and lightly whisk with a fork until just blended. Add the water, then stir in a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir in the grated cheese.
- Transfer the roasted vegetables to the oiled skillet. Slowly pour the eggs into the skillet. With the fork, gently arrange the roasted vegetables so they are evenly distributed. Cook over low heat until the eggs are set. After the edge is set, run a spatula under it and shake the frittata gently to ensure the bottom does not stick to the pan.
- Place the skillet in the oven, leaving the door ajar, until the top is set, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the skillet with oven mitts and transfer to a rack to cool for a few minutes. Slide the frittata onto a serving plate. Cut into wedges and serve.
*Turnip and radish greens are edible and have a slight peppery flavor that makes them a nice complement to other greens (kale, chard, red beet greens, etc.) in a side dish, or a frittata. As soon as I get home, I cut the greens half an inch above the root and store the two separately. I consume the greens as soon as possible.
Food writer Simona Carini offers these kitchen tips:
- Be sure to use an ovenproof skillet. I use a 10-inch (25 cm) diameter skillet, but 9½ inch (24 cm) skillet can be used as well.
- My oven allows me to set the intensity of heat for the broiler and I choose the “low” setting option. I then place the skillet on the “default” baking rack, immediately below the middle one. If your oven does not allow you to choose the broil setting, place the rack (and the skillet) on a lower level to increase the distance between the frittata and the heat source. Always carefully monitor the progress to avoid overcooking or burning the frittata.
- For years, I followed my mother’s habit of adding a small amount of milk to the eggs. Then, one day, she told me she had switched to water after hearing a chef recommend it for a lighter frittata. I too changed my practice. Feel free to try both ways and choose the one that gives the result you prefer. Store leftover frittata in the fridge and enjoy it the following day, at room temperature.
- Suggestion for variations: One day, not having quite 8 oz. of radishes and baby turnips prompted me to add a few baby carrots, cut in ⅙-inch (4 mm) slices. If you don’t have or don’t like either radishes or baby turnips, you may try using more carrots and/or baby beets.