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My son’s father-in-law recently passed away and the kids asked me to fly down to San Francisco to help with my grandchildren. “Help” to me translates into tending to everyone’s needs, entertaining the toddlers and, of course, cooking like a maniac while they nap.
Comfort food is the first thing that comes to mind when times are tough. I think of steaming dishes of luscious food straight out of the oven – the smells emanating through the house to elevate everyone’s mood. While I was at my son’s house, I decided a savory frittata would do the trick. This Spinach frittata is one thing I often make for family or friends; it is actually similar to a Sephardic Jewish Frittata – sort of a quasi-crustless quiche – although my rendition isn’t as traditional (hence the cottage cheese and nutmeg).
It is warm, eggy, salty yet gentle on the stomach. It’s also a dish beloved by kids and adults alike, and if you are motivated to make a double batch and bake two of these, they freeze well for up to three months. You can even combine all the ingredients (except spinach) the day before and refrigerate the uncooked raw mixture overnight. When you’re ready to bake, just bring it to room temperature and pour ingredients into the greased casserole and voila – freshly baked frittata!
This also serves as one of my “go to” brunch dishes for company and when I share the recipe, friends can’t believe how easy it is. It always receives rave reviews and, if we’re lucky, we have leftovers to reheat for an easy dinner.
Makes one 8 x 11 casserole or 8-10 servings
- 9 eggs
- 1 pint small curd cottage cheese (I use full fat)
- 8 oz Swiss cheese, grated
- 8 oz feta cheese, chopped
- 1 pound of fresh baby Spinach, washed-or 1 lb frozen chopped spinach, thaw and squeeze dry
- 1 pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
- Olive oil to grease the baking pan on the bottom and sides
Begin by filling a large sauté or soup pot with two inches of water and bringing it to a boil. Add spinach and allow the leaves to wilt, about four minutes. Don’t put a lid on the pan but keep moving the spinach leaves around with a tongs. Remove the spinach to a strainer and keep pressing with the back of a spoon to remove as much water or liquid as you can. After it cools a bit, squeeze it with your hands to remove even more liquid, then roughly chop the spinach.
Once the spinach is prepared, beat eggs, add cheeses, and stir in spinach and nutmeg. Put into an oiled pan, and even out the surface. Bake about 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees until golden brown and “set” so that when you gently shake the pan, the center doesn’t appear to be runny. Allow the frittata to cool at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.
I always serve this with a slice of fresh tomato or sautéed cherry tomatoes on top. I also like to accompany it with whole grain crackers or rustic bread, fresh fruit salad, and a vegetable or green salad… Delicious!!!
PS: I have used steamed chopped broccoli in place of spinach, cheddar cheese instead of Swiss – the sky is the limit. A little fresh Parmesan cheese on top doesn’t hurt either. Also – refrain from adding additional salt as there’s already a lot in the cheeses. Final note – I like my frittata fairly thick but it is also possible to bake this in a larger dish and have a “flatter” looking frittata that is still good. OK – just one more thing … frittata is good hot, warm or even room temperature.