Green frittata: a CardioKit recipe

A Mediterranean breakfast or brunch champion

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A great way to kick start your day by combining seasonal vegetables into a super-tasty package and getting a head start on your 5-a-day. It’s also very good for a simple lunch with a side salad. In fact its equally good eaten cold when the vegetables seem to taste even sweeter. For a hearty breakfast that will easily keep you going until lunch time (without any snacking temptation) you can combine with a piece of wholemeal or granary bread or a side serving of baked beans.

The frittata is pretty versatile. The recipe below is just one example but the basic principle can be tailored to different delicious vegetables combinations. The foundation should always be onions (and other veg from the onion family like garlic, leeks etc.) as this gives the frittata a sweet note. Otherwise you can use almost anything you fancy or is in season — sweet peppers, asparagus, chopped french beans, peas and so on are all good. You can choose to go simple with only 2 or 3 vegetables or use a ‘rainbow’ variety. Its also a great way to use up any veg you may have lying in your fridge at the end of the week.

For your information  —  this frittata has spinach. Spinach is a nitrate containing vegetables and recent research suggests that nitrate-containing vegetables can lower blood pressure. This effect may be even more pronounced when combined with olive oil as in this recipe. Some researchers are starting to hypothesis that this relationship may partly explain the health success of vegetables and the Mediterranean diet. Just make sure you have not brushed your teeth within 3 hours as it’s actually the bacteria in your mouth that helps release the active compounds!

For a 4 person frittata:

  • 1 white onion
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1/2 a large leek
  • 2 whole courgettes
  • 2 large flat mushrooms or a handful of closed-cup mushrooms (any colour)
  • a large handful of spinach
  • 1/2 a mild green chilli deseeded (more if you like!)
  • olive oil, salt and pepper to season
  • 6 free-range (organic ideal) eggs
  1. It’s best to cook this in a non-stick, oven-proof, shallow frying pan. You will be starting the cooking on the hob but finish under the grill for an even cook, soft centre and nice brown top.
  2. Finely chop the onion and garlic. Add to your medium hot pan with a little olive oil and allow to soften. You don’t want any colour and so be ready to turn the heat down to allow them to sizzle gently (‘sweat’) and sweeten. Season with a little salt and pepper to start the cooking process and help the onions release their natural sugars.
  3. Cut the leek into thin slices. Rinse in plenty of water to remove any dirt within the layers, drain and add to the mix. The small amount of water that the leeks retain from the rinsing will help them steam while they cook.
  4. Now add the courgette either diced or cut into ‘half moons’ and then the mushrooms sliced.
  5. At this stage you can add a little more seasoning and the chilli finely chopped.
  6. Allow the vegetables to continue to soften together. They will start to release moisture. The point is to cook them on a medium to low heat (with a gentle sizzle) until the mix is relatively dry and the vegetables are tender and sweet. If in the very initial stages of cooking before the veg has started to release its moisture the mix is starting to dry or catch you can place a lid on to trap evaporation, turn down the heat and add a little water.
  7. Right at the end add the spinach as it will wilt down very quickly but again you must make sure the moisture has evaporated before adding the eggs so the mix is not too wet. Unless your spinach is ready washed you should rinse several times under cold running water to remove grit and dirt.
  8. Beat the cracked eggs (and a splash of milk) in a bowl with a fork for around 20 seconds with a little seasoning. This will mix and aerate the eggs which will help your frittata puff-up during cook and give a light texture. Now add the eggs to the pan.
  9. Cook the egg and vegetable mixture for around 4 minutes. You will see bubbles rising to the surface in the mix and the edges start to set. At this point transfer under a hot grill for the rest of the cooking.
  10. Remove from the grill when the frittata has puffed-up and the edges have a nice Brown finish but it still feel soft (not too rubbery) to touch in the middle. Allow to cool, cut into slices and enjoy — delicious!
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