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Between The Two | The Go-To Frittata

Frittata | Delightful CrumbI come today with the most straightforward of recipes, for a moment in which things feel to me both immensely complicated and desperately simple. Politics, immigration and our nation’s ongoing inability to communicate across disagreement loom large. Yet it is summer, and for me, that conjures memories of simplicity at its finest: long days unfurling without obligation, family vacation, a sense of ease, produce that lends itself to the most minimal of preparation. Ben and I came home from vacation a little over a week ago, rested and lighthearted, to the first wave of mind-bending, heart-breaking news about our southern border. I need only to assemble my dinner with ingredients so gloriously perfect as the ones I picked up at the farmers market this morning, yet people are still going hungry and homeless on the route where I take my daily run. Today, I am healthy and whole, but that’s not the case for the friend who calls in need.

The truth is, it’s here that we live—between the two. Sometimes, we feel one more than the other: everything feels easy, or everything feels hard. Other times, the tension is what dominates. But ultimately, complexity and simplicity, struggle and ease, sorrow and joy—they are here with us, intertwined, all the time.

I’ve struggled to come to terms with this. There was a time when I thought that life would, or could, be easy. Then, when I realized my naiveté, I assumed that difficulties and sorrows would come and go, and I just had to get through those tough seasons to the light on the other side. But now I’ve come to see that life is all of it, mixed up together, and somehow we must leave space for lament and contentment to coexist.

So here’s my bid for embracing the good even when there is bad, for opening our hearts and homes even when the world seems hostile, for pulling family and friends ever closer despite the fact that loving means risking loss, for speaking kindness when criticism and sarcasm have made positivity seems passé. It’s okay to enjoy what we’re given in this life despite the brokenness around us. You can eat the first fig of summer with gusto and still show up at the rally. We don’t have to choose—and in the end, we can’t.

And so I offer one more thing to add to your repertoire of simplicity this summer. If you need an easy dish to set alongside slices of juicy summer fruit at brunch, or something filling to go with a piled-high tomato salad and a fresh loaf of bread at dinnertime, I suggest this frittata. After cycling through many different recipes, I’ve found my perfect frittata ratios, to which you can add whatever produce is in season or on hand. This spring, I used fava leaves and green garlic and spring onions. Now, in early summer, new potatoes and vibrant spinach can take center stage. Use what you have, and lean into whatever ease you may have this summer.

Frittata | Delightful Crumb

Go-To Frittata

Informed by recipes from Sara Forte in The Sprouted Kitchen and Itamar Srulovich and Sarit Packer in Golden

The first frittata recipe that I truly loved was Sara’s, from her first book, The Sprouted Kitchen. I found the ratios perfect and the filling (sweet potatoes, spinach, goat cheese) delicious. Later, I made the recipe for maakouda in Golden, the second cookbook from the owners of London’s glorious Honey & Co., and loved this, too, with its bright pop of flavor from capers and a hearty inclusion of herbs. I saw that the two held to similar ratios and realized I’d found my perfect frittata formula. Here’s my version. You can leave out the capers if they’re not to your taste, use red pepper flakes rather than Aleppo if that’s what you’ve got, add other spices, swap in different produce, use feta rather than goat cheese or skip the cheese altogether—the options are endless!

2 medium potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch dice
1/2 teaspoon salt, plus additional for the potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion or 3 spring onions, sliced thinly
3 stalks green garlic or scallions, sliced thinly
Big handful spinach, fava leaves or zucchini flowers
8 eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
Pinch of Aleppo pepper
Freshly cracked black pepper
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
Small bunch parsley, chopped
3 ounces goat cheese
Hot sauce, for serving (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425 F.

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add a pinch of salt, then cook the potatoes for about 5 minutes, until cooked through but not falling apart. Drain and allow to cool.

Heat the olive oil in a 10-inch cast iron or other oven-safe pan. Over medium heat, cook the onions and scallions or green garlic with a pinch of salt until softened, about 5 minutes.

Add the potatoes and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so. Place the greens or zucchini blossoms on top and allow them to wilt, about 1 minute. You can put the lid on the pan to encourage the process.

Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs, milk, capers, parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, a pinch of Aleppo pepper flakes and a generous amount of black pepper. When the ingredients are well combined, with no streaks remaining, pour the mixture into the pan and turn the heat down to medium-low. Nudge the ingredients so that they’re nicely distributed as you allow the frittata to cook for a few minutes. Top with the crumbled goat cheese. Turn off the heat and transfer the pan to the oven to cook for about 15 minutes, until the top is nicely set.

Allow the frittata to cool for a few minutes before slicing and serving, with hot sauce alongside for those so inclined. It is also delicious at room temperature.

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