Spring was very slow to come where I live in Western Canada. We’d almost given up. On the upside, being stuck inside gave me a great excuse to do my spring cleaning and now that the good weather has arrived, I can be outside as much as possible. I think spring cleaning should always include the refrigerator. It’s time to pitch the biology experiments in the back of the condiment section and to take a renewed vow to reduce waste and “use it up by eating it up.”
When my editor at Alberta Health Services’ Apple magazine asked me for a spring recipe, I told her the story of how I get in this spring cleaning groove and that I love to make frittatas as the vehicle to not waste leftover bits of cheese and vegetables. With a thumbs up from her, that’s how the idea for my spring column was born. You’ll find the 100,000 copies of the spring issue on community news stands around the province now or if there’s not one near you, read on to find the recipe for this incredibly versatile and easy dish here.
Spring Cleaning Frittata
With mighty eggs as the base of this recipe, the herbs, cheese, type of onion and kinds of vegetables can all be varied depending on what you discover in your refrigerator.
¼ cup (60 ml) light cream cheese, softened
½ cup (125 ml) shredded cheese**
9 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup (250 ml) skim milk
2 tsp (10 ml) chopped fresh herbs* or 1 tsp (5 ml) dried
½ tsp (2 ml) pepper
1 tsp (5 ml) canola oil
½ cup (125 ml) onion*** – finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup (250 ml) mixed vegetables**** – chopped
1 10-ounce (300 g) pkg chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 tsp (5 ml) fresh chives or chive flowers in season, chopped (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Blend the softened cream cheese and shredded cheese together in a large bowl and then stir in the eggs, milk, herbs and pepper until thoroughly combined.
Heat the canola oil in an oven-proof skillet on medium-high heat and cook the onions until translucent, then add the garlic and cook one minute before stirring in the remaining vegetables and spinach.
Cook and stir a few minutes before spreading the egg mixture evenly in the pan. Cook without stirring for 15 minutes on medium heat to set the bottom then transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges and set in the center.
Remove from the oven and cool five minutes.
Garnish with fresh chives, chive flowers (or more fresh herbs – in the photo at the top of this article I had been foraging and so I had some lovely wild violets and meadow rue to top my frittata – YUM!).
Slice into wedges to serve and enjoy with a side of fresh fruit or green salad.
*Herbs: Use fresh parsley, tarragon, dill, basil or sage.
**Cheeses: Try Gruyere, cheddar, mozzarella, Swiss, Monterey Jack or Gouda.
***Onions: Use white, yellow or red onions or leeks, shallots or scallions.
****Vegetables: Use a mixture of bell peppers, zucchini, artichokes, broccoli or cauliflower florets, spinach, kale, tomatoes or leftover potatoes.