Clear-Out-the-Fridge Frittata

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Lately I’ve been telling people here, in presentations and in workshops to rely less on recipes and more on cooking methods. Do this and you will buy fewer ingredients, waste less food and alleviate what-on-earth-will-we-eat-for-dinner-tonight stress. My kids sometimes complain we have nothing to eat (translation: we have no processed snacks) but when I look in the kitchen, I see possibilities. Frittata is a great example.

For this post, I searched in the fridge for vegetables that needed to be eaten asap. A leek and a bit of cauliflower were at the top of the list. I also found a handful of mushrooms, an orange bell pepper and parsley. You can add shredded cheese, homemade ricotta cheese or grated Parmesan; leftover meat, chicken, fish or seafood; leftover cooked rice; olives or capers; and even fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi. If you need to use it up, make frittata!

I cook my frittata in a cast-iron enameled pan that can go from the stovetop to the oven. If you don’t have a pan like this or a cast-iron skillet, you could use a glass pie dish, skip the stovetop and bake the frittata in the oven.

frittata ingredients

Ingredients

  • About 3 cups of filling, mostly chopped vegetables
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup full-fat milk (fat is good; fat tastes good)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fat for sautéing vegetables

Directions

eggs

1. Preheat the oven to broil. Whisk 6 eggs in a bowl with a fork until you no longer see any clear bits of egg white. (Use a larger bowl than I did for this…)eggs milk salt pepper

2. Whisk 1/2 cup of milk into the eggs and season with salt and pepper.sauteed mixed vegetables

3. At medium–high heat, sauté the vegetables you will add to the frittata for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have released much of their water. Do not skip this step! You want the water released in your pan, not in your eggs. I sautéed my vegetables in my homemade lard for frugal bonus points (and also because lard tastes delicious).stove top

4. Toss in any other add-ins such as chopped meat, seafood, cheese or cooked rice.

5. Pour the egg–milk mixture over the filling. Cook on the stove top for about 4 minutes.oven6. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for another 4 minutes or so, until the center is barely set like a custard. You don’t want it to brown on top. If it browns, you’ve cooked it a too long and risk a dry frittata. (Mine is a little brown on the left edge.)

That’s it. Enjoy!


Frittata

Ingredients

  • About 3 cups of filling, mostly chopped vegetables
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup full-fat milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fat for sautéing vegetables

Directions

1. Preheat the oven to broil. Whisk 6 eggs in a bowl with a fork until you no longer see any clear bits of egg white.

2. Whisk 1/2 cup of milk into the eggs and season with salt and pepper.

3. At medium–high heat, sauté the vegetables you will add to the frittata for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables have released much of their water.

4. Toss in any other add-ins such as chopped meat, seafood, cheese or cooked rice.

5. Pour the egg–milk mixture over the filling. Cook on the stove top for 4 or 5 minutes.

6. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for about 4 minutes more, until the center is barely set like a custard.

36 Comment

  1. Nice! At home we call it “rest omelette”. Just put whatever leftovers qith cheese and egg and presto!

    1. I like the name! Yup, it’s a quick and delicious way to use it all up 🙂

  2. That looks amazing!

    1. Thank you! It’s delicious but also so easy to make.

      1. I’m going to try it one day. I love eggs!

      2. Me too. I like easy also 😉

  3. Wow, you photos go along wonderfully with the post! Love the visual aspect 🙂

    1. Thanks Becca. Before I started blogging, I had no idea I would enjoy taking pictures of food so much 🙂

  4. Yup, this is my favorite! We used to make kitchen soup A LOT and were getting tired of it, so this is our new clean-out-the-fridge-before-grocery-shopping-day meal. 😀

    1. I make kitchen soup too but we can eat only so much of it. I am drinking bone broth as I type this though 😉

  5. Looks good! I’m on my way for lunch now 😉

    1. It’s very yummy, Aggie. Your diners don’t realize they are eating rescued vegetables 😉

      1. I am so proud for this improv: I had first of the garden squash, onion, garlic, and to finish seasoning, oregano, turmeric, paprika, and the juice of a tangerine.

      2. Yum! What a delicious harvest Aggie 🙂 Your farm sounds wonderful.

  6. Hi,

    looks great! At my place we often make ‘Friday soup’ in the Winter. You take whatever veggies are left in the fridge on Friday and throw them in a pot with some stock, an onion and some brown or red lentils if you have them – delicious! This started because Friday is the day I go to the organic shop, and it was always so tempting to eat all the beautiful fresh produce when little bits of this and that were languishing at the bottom of the fridge.

    Madeleine.x

  7. It’s called ‘eggy pie’ here and is a Sunday morning staple that becomes my Monday lunch (and sometimes Tuesday if there’s enough leftover).

    1. Another good name 🙂 I love this for breakfast or lunch the next day. It makes packing a lunch so quick and easy.

  8. Oh, I am definitely due for one of these! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thank you for checking it out. Enjoy!

  9. this is great, Anne Marie, I always feel such an affinity with you. Wish we could swap lives for a week! Can I show you the piece I wrote about frittatas, similar but different. I like what you say as well about using a glass dish if you don’t have a cast iron pan. I was baking large frittatas for a while in loose-bottomed cake tins and that was fun too: https://kitchencounterculture121.wordpress.com/2014/03/01/a-frittata-for-your-leftovers/

    1. Thanks Annie. I feel the same way and I just love your blog. While I wrote this, I thought to myself “I bet Annie has a post on frittata.” Thank you for the link to your post. It’s brilliant as always 🙂

  10. Yum! Sounds and looks great!

    1. Thanks, Chris. It’s very good. Even my picky eater will eat this. It makes the vegetables a little bit unidentifiable once it’s cooked, so I can sneak all sorts of stuff in 😉

  11. […] When was the last time you did a stocktake of everything that is in your Pantry, Fridge and Freezer?  Both the refrigerator and freezer seem to hide forgotten leftovers.  These gems can make easy dinners and lunches [depending on how much you find].  They could constitute ingredients of a new dish like a Soup or Curry. Here is a recipe from fellow blogger, The Zero-Waste Chef to help you clear out your refrigerator:  http://zerowastechef.com/2015/05/06/clear-out-the-fridge-frittata/ […]

    1. Thank you for the mention 🙂

  12. […] other Zero Waste news, Zero Waste Chef continues to knock it out of the park. Here, her Clear-Out-the-Fridge Frittata offers a delicious way to use up leftover vegetables, cheese, meat, etc. It’s the same […]

    1. Thanks so much for sharing. I hope you had a good weekend 🙂

  13. Still new to using the oven. What ae the best kind of pans or pots that can go straight from the hob into the oven with oven door closed for hours?

    1. Hi there! I’m sorry to take so long to respond to your comment. I think the best pots and pans to go straight to the oven are cast-iron. The pan I used in this post is a Le Creuset enameled cast-iron skillet but I have also used the plain cast-iron ones without the enameling. They are very convenient. I like the enameled one because it’s a little bit easier to clean up. I also LOVE my Le Creuset Dutch oven. Like the skillet I used in the post, it can go from the hob to the oven also. I bought my daughter a Cuisinart brand Dutch oven for school last year. She uses it constantly and really likes it. It cost MUCH less than my French one and works very well.

  14. So true. Thanks for the recipe as Frittata is a family favorite. For some time now, we’ve been cooking with “whatever is in the fridge or pantry” and it sure saves money and reduces waste.

    1. I’ve also been trying to cook this way more, Cynthia! Tonight I’m making vegetable fritters with whatever vegetables I find when I get home, pastured eggs and a bit of sourdough starter. I’ll make a salad and maybe roasted vegetables on the side (I need to use up a bunch asap). I can’t waste those delicious farmer’s market veggies!

      1. That all sounds great. We actually went through a month where we bought nothing new except milk and eggs and fresh veggies and fruit. Everything else came from pantry, fridge or freezer. That’s how my parents and grandparents lived – they had no freezer, mind you, but they used up what they had.

  15. Looks Delicious ..

    1. Thank you! It was very tasty–and easy!

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