Alright, I admit it: I’m guilty of having once headlined an article about frittatas “Hakuna Frittata.” I deserve an overnight stay in a cast-iron jail, or at least a stern talking-to from the Breakfast 5-0. But in all seriousness, frittatas get a bad rap, likely because all too often they come out dry, spongy, overcooked, or under-flavored, but really, the baked egg dish can (and should) be “no worries” to make. Plus, frittatas are a great way to use up whatever vegetable, meat, and cheese scraps you have hiding in your fridge. The frittata formula is pretty simple: Cook some fillings, pour in beaten eggs, cook some more, bake, serve. But there are a few tips and tricks that can take your finished dish from flat to fantastic.
Championing nonstick pans is like saying that you should eat an all-GMO diet, but it really does help with sliding the finished frittata easily out of the pan. Just make sure your pan is oven-safe. And if you’re going with cast iron, maybe give it another quick seasoning before you make the frittata, so that you don’t get into a sticky situation.
If meat and vegetables figure into your frittata, cook them in the pan before you add your eggs—and I leave mine ever so slightly underdone. That way, they don’t get soggy when they keep cooking in the oven (and I tend to like my vegetables with a little “bite” anyway, but it’s a personal preference). Meat? That you want to cook all the way through. Raw meat frittatas are pretty uncool, no matter how you slice ‘em.
If you’ve ever cooked absolutely anything at all, you know that fresh herbs add brightness. If you’re going to use fresh herbs (and you should), don’t pre-cook them along with the frittata. Stir them into your egg mixture instead so they don’t get sad, brown and wilted. And of course, save some to flurry over the top of your finished dish. Not only do they add more flavor (and a pop of color for your Instagram pic because duh), but they’ll hide any overcooked or ugly patches.
Salt’s the cure
When it comes to any egg dish, salt is the Pumbaa to your Timon. Not only do you want to make sure to season your beaten eggs with a hefty dose of salt and pepper, but sprinkle the stuff on whatever fillings you pre-cook, too. More seasoning = maximum flavor.
Embrace the jiggle
When you pour in your eggs, let the frittata set for a couple of minutes on the stovetop. Then keep an eye on it when it’s in the oven, and take it out when it’s still a touch jiggly—not quite creme brulee-level jiggly, but when the top is a still a tiny bit shaky, get that frittata out of the oven and serve it warm.