I am a sweet brunch type of gal, a “where-are-the-croissants” and “can-you-please-pass-the-jam” type of woman. At my house, overnight guests always wake to fresh scones or steaming hot muffins, tenderly crumbed, in the morning. My brother takes care of the coffee. His grind, his french press, his side of the kitchen. See? I can share! I can delegate! (Sometimes.) (Rarely.)
I am also, admittedly, an “ok-I’ve-got-to-go-it’s-been-lovely” type of bruncher. Meaning, scones and coffee are usually the extent of it. These days, who has time for a full on spread?
However, when I do turn brunch into a proper sit down meal (this usually happens when there’s family over, or if it’s a lazy Sunday, or both) it is, again, team effort. My mom makes french toast, soft with homemade challah and sticky sweet with confectioner’s sugar. My aunt Malka makes shakshuka- the runny yolks and the saucy base are distinctly hers, the greens, which wilt slowly but surely down, are my addition. My brother will add enough crushed red pepper to incapacitate an army, if he thinks no one is looking. We usually aren’t.
I will bring out bread or biscuits, fruit is washed and cut up. The tea drinkers take tea, no honey please, maybe a bit of lemon. It’s lovely. Let’s do this always, fam!
Next brunch? I’m bringing this frittata: fluffy and eggy, thickened with just a bit of yogurt, it’s flavored with sweet, sauteed onion, shallot and thyme. A bit of Parm and dill awaken the egg custard, which is stirred and thickened on the stove top. Geode-like purple potatoes, cheddar, and ribbons of refreshing spinach are added to the lightly scrambled mixture, which is then topped by more spinach and yet more cheese.
The frittata’s finished in a pre-heated oven, where it rises and fluffs, coming out hefty and full, in about ten minutes. Take it out, plate hot slices with a little more Parmesan, a lemony green salad and some whole grain bread, and you’re all set.
This is savory breakfast food at it’s finest, a hearty eggs and potatoes meal all in one, made better only by the addition of friends and family. Let lazy Sundays reign! Let everyone get comfortable! I am serving up brunch and you are all invited! There might be avocado toast! There. Got your attention.
Why I love this recipe: savory yogurt thickens and flavors the egg custard, along with Parmesan and dill. Earthy purple potatoes add heft, comforting texture and taste, and spinach adds essential breakfast nutrients. Cheddar, a wonderful match for both eggs and potatoes, tops this hearty, fluffy frittata.
Variations: use Yukon Gold potatoes or sweet potatoes instead of purple ones. Substitute an equal amount of Gruyere cheese for the cheddar. Use kale instead of spinach. Substitute equal weight of chopped, steamed asparagus for the potato and 2 leeks for the onion and shallot.
Notes: to freeze this frittata: cut into pieces, wrap securely and freeze. It’ll be a bit watery when you defrost it- reheat in an oven.
For the vegetables:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/4 cups fresh, washed spinach, chiffonaded
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped small
- 2 medium shallots, peeled and sliced into rings
- 1 lb. purple potatoes, quartered
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2/3 cups mix of white and orange grated Cheddar cheese blend, divided
For the egg custard:
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 eggs
- 2 tablespoons ground Parmesan
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped dill
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 450ºF.
- First, cook the potatoes: toss the quartered potato cubes in a pot of salted, boiling water and boil for 7-8 minutes. Drain pot and remove potatoes when soft. Set aside.
- Now, saute the aromatics: in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and shallot in the olive oil until browned.
- Add the salt and the thyme and sauté until soft, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and set aside, near the potatoes.
- Make the custard: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, Parmesan, and dill. Set aside.
- 5. In a 10-in. cast-iron or ovenproof pan, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Pour the custard into the pan and stir, lightly scrambling the eggs.
- Slowly add the sauteed aromatics to the custard and continue scrambling.
- When the eggs are about 30 percent set, add in the potatoes, stir to mix, add in 2 cups of the chiffonaded spinach and half of the cheese and stir, mixing well, again.
- Sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup of spinach ribbons, top with the remaining Cheddar, and transfer to the oven for 8 to 10 minutes, until the frittata is cooked through and browned on top.
- Immediately transfer the frittata to a plate by running a spatula around the edges and underneath to free it from the pan. Serve hot or at room temperature.