Beyond eating, or even liking, vegetables, my mom’s favorite thing to talk about when I cook lately has been that my sisters all thought it was so silly that I was registered for, and receiving, cookware as wedding gifts. She likes to brag that they all thought I would never cook, and now I am a “great cook”. Well…
#1. I had no need to cook when I was growing up. I am the youngest of eight children. Clearly, there was no need for me to take care of myself.
#2. They are all great cooks. I have people to follow. Of the eight kids, I know at least 6 of them can find their way around a kitchen quite nicely. I still stumble around a bit, and one of them, well I have no idea. He is the oldest, so he was out of the house before I can really remember him cooking, and I have never stayed with him to see if he can feed me like I have with my sisters.
#3. I would still not consider myself a “great cook”. I am a great recipe-follower. This blog was a project to keep track of my recipe tweaks. To give me something to follow. I am learning my way around the kitchen still and what I can make up is limited. I don’t feel like a genius in the kitchen. I cannot go from nothing. I almost always need something to follow or at least a little inspiration. Baked meals are the one exception to that (I think). I am comfortable not following recipes with things that turn into a casserole form of some sort. You can’t really mess those up, can you? Baked Ziti and Frittatas. Two things I KNOW I can make, and make differently each time and still get rave reviews.
So, the moral of the story is, I make a frittata every year for Mother’s Day brunch. I tweak it ever so slightly every year to try and make up for the one thing that one person wasn’t crazy about the previous year. This year there weren’t many complaints. This year was also the experiment of making almost everything ahead of time. This year my mom still told the story of my sisters thinking I didn’t need anything for a kitchen. What can I say, I am the baby. I am the favorite 😉
Everything with this recipe can be done the day before and assembled right before going in the oven. The only thing I did not do ahead of time is the eggs. I thought it was kind of icky to beat eggs and have them sit in the fridge for a day. Icky and unnecessary. I also want to note that I had too much to fit in the pan veggie-wise. This was fine since the leftovers are great. So I am sticking with the same amount and having leftovers. Or, just fill a bigger pan 🙂
What I Used
Step One (day one)
3 medium zucchini
3 medium summer squash
2 red bell peppers
1 large red onion
2 large bowls
~1/4 cup olive oil X2 (1 for each bowl)
~ 2 Tbsp Herb de Provence X2 (2 for each bowl)
Step Two (day one)
1 lb chicken or turkey sausage
4 slices bacon, cut into 1″ pieces
2 large potatoes, sliced
Step Three (day two)
5 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/2 cup ricotta
1/2 lb shredded gruyere
1/4 cup grated Parmesan + some for topping
salt & pepper
Slice all your vegetables in step on into evenly thick pieces (about 1/4-1/2″). Since I had way too many veggies for 1 bowl, or since I had no bowl big enough for my veggies, I divided all of them between two large pyrex mixing bowls. Toss each bowl with about 1/4 cup olive oil and 2 Tbsp Herb de Provence.
Spread in a single layer onto foil coated rimmed baking dishes. Don’t use cookie sheets or you will have a huge mess if oil runs off. Roast at 450F for about 15 minutes or until tender. If you aren’t baking the frittata same day, cover and put in the refrigerator until ready to assemble.
Next, in a large skillet, brown the sausage. I took it out of the casing and used the ground meat. Since I used chicken sausage (with roasted red peppers, it was divine), I used a bit of oil when browning it. Drain and set aside. Add a bit of the bacon to the pan and then a layer of potatoes. In batches until finished, fry the bacon and potatoes. All can sit in the fridge until the next day as well. Last thing I did for prep was grate my cheese.
Next day! Morning of the brunch! Whisk together all your step three ingredients. Heat your oven to 425F. Coat a large pan with butter or cooking spray (butter is better!). Layer the potato + bacon mixture, then a layer of vegetables, then 1/2 the sausage, then another layer of vegetables, and lastly half the sausage. To make it pretty, I added a slice of squash/zucchini to the top of each “piece” and a few pieces of pepper in between. Pour the egg mixture over everything. Using a butter knife, poke in between the slices to help the egg run down through the entire frittata. Sprinkle with extra Parmesan and dot with a little butter.
Bake for about an hour until golden brown. You should be able to poke with a knife in the center and not have it ooze.
Serve it up!
Serves: 8-16 People (depending on any extras you want to serve along side, to keep the pieces smaller) 🙂