Frittata

Andrew Feinberg's Slow-Baked Broccoli Frittata

November 19, 2014

Treat your frittatas better, just like you do all your other eggs. They will serve happy holiday crowds (or make nice lunches for you) in return.

Fried eggs are the source of fierce debates over texture and tone; scrambled are valued by how unresisting and cream-like they are; omelettes give us a reason to be ever-reaching toward perfection.

Shop the Story

So why is it that we broil our frittatas? Once we expose a thin layer of egg to a hot pan and oven—rather than wanting to protect it—suddenly delicacy isn't our concern.

Maybe it's the cheese, or the accrual of distracting vegetables and meats, that allow us to take the pressure off the eggs. Both may be true, but this leaves a lot of room for improvement.



This is where Andrew Feinberg, chef at Franny's and Marco's in Brooklyn, can help. "Instead of cooking the eggs quickly in a hot oven," he told me, "I cook them slowly in a low oven and the result is a very custardy and creamy texture that traditional frittatas do not have." It's confusing that we didn't think of this before.

But there's much more to the genius of his recipe than just babying the eggs. As much care goes into every other piece, so that the frittata isn't just a receptacle for what odds and ends you already have, limited by their merits, but a reason to cook in the first place. When you address each component with intention, there isn't room for textures to bore you, or flavors to clash. Ingredients won't surprise you by cooking too slow or too fast, or being too wet or dry or ungainly.

Feinberg starts by roasting the broccoli in a smarter way: He slices each floret in half, making long, exposed flat sides to rest and sear against the pan. He starts them sizzling on the stovetop, then flips and finishes them in the oven, as you would a steak.

 

You end up with every piece evenly browned across the flat stretches, frizzled at the edges, and tender and sweet inside. This well-crisped and caramelized broccoli would be a star on its own (or in a warm salad, or on a sandwich), but it also holds up especially well under a blanket of egg.

 

You'll also add plenty of other attractions to the eggs—grated Parmesan, soft snarls of red onion, lots of garlic sautéed with chile flakes, plus plenty of olive oil to carry the flavors around.

 

 

But all of this won't result in too much richness, because you'll serve with another sharp flicker of olive oil and Parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon.

Why did we never think of seasoning eggs with lemon before? Avgolemono and citrus custards might have hinted at its promise, but, like vinegar, it's a surprise, until you learn how good it is.

This also means Feinberg's frittata will brighten any winter breakfast (and lunches too—it makes a great not-sad desk sandwich), but will be an especially welcome pick-me-up for a sleepy, turkey-ed out crowd.

Andrew Feinberg's Slow-Baked Broccoli Frittata

Adapted slightly from Andrew Feinberg, chef/owner of Franny's and Marco's in Brooklyn, New York

Serves 4

10 large eggs
2 1/2 tablespoons grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
40 turns from a black pepper mill
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more for serving
1 medium (1-pound) head of broccoli (4 cups once trimmed)
1/2 red onion, sliced thinly
1 heaping tablespoon chopped garlic
1/8 teaspoon plus a large pinch of dried chile flakes
1 squeeze lemon, to taste, for serving

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here.

Got a genius recipe to share—from a classic cookbook, an online source, or anywhere, really? Please send it my way (and tell me what's so smart about it) at [email protected]

Photos by James Ransom

 

Order Now

The Genius Desserts cookbook is here! With more than 100 of the most beloved and talked-about desserts of our time (and the hidden gems soon to join their ranks) this book will make you a local legend, and a smarter baker to boot.

Order Now

12 Comments

Margaret A. February 16, 2016
I generally have cauliflower left over along with the broccoli. Would this work, do you think, with a blend of the two vegetables? Thank you.
 
Takako January 14, 2015
Will this be good cold/room temperature?
 
Carolina January 12, 2015
I love that: "soft snarls of red onion."
 
Lindsay M. November 27, 2014
lemon zest is also very good in a frittata or quiche.
 
Mary A. November 26, 2014
Mairi Athanatos.here in Cyprus Mediteranean,the use of luscious fresh lemons on a daily basis is of importance in our cuisine ,bringing a freshness which counterbalances,the richness of the other ingredients,and it is second nature to us to squeeze a little on most things,transforming and brightening the taste buds.As for the use of olive oil...its aromatic,light,and flavourful,and here in this region plentiful..manna in heaven,there is a place for butter...but a delicacy in the use of olive oil which I personally recommend,to be used adventureously!NB its harvesting season for olives,the aroma of cold press oil infuses the senses and tastebuds,freshly mixed with lemons and salt ,and eaten with thich slices of sourdough village bread,and a shot of Zivania,clear distillation of macerated grapes..Cypriot shot!
 
Marcella H. November 19, 2014
40 turns of the pepper mill? 10 eggs for 4 people? Oh, my! Why allow olive oil to occupy butter's territory? If taste is the criterion, a frittata tastes a lot better with butter.
 
Patrina F. November 26, 2014
10 eggs only comes out to 2.5 eggs per person, not extravagant it seems to me. And for my pepper mill 40 would be a reasonable amount since i have it turned down to a really fine grind. Personally I think the bright olive oil flavor sounds just right for this bright peppery dish as butter might get buried with it's soft delicate richness. Now a chanterelle mushroom or spinach fritatta... that would be butter all the way in my book. ;)
 
tastysweet November 19, 2014
I think I don't want to do 70 turns of my pepper mill. I do grind fresh peppercorns, so perhaps you could tell me what your measurement might be.<br />I would love to try this one. Add a glass of wine and viola<br />
 
Embrosia November 19, 2014
A must try. Love the idea, the photos, and really appreciate the precise ingredient measurements.
 
Tracey K. November 19, 2014
I feel like I just read a delicious chapter from a romance novel:)! #cooking ucketlist
 
lloreen November 19, 2014
This looks like a great dinner or lunch! I'm way too lazy in the morning to put in this much time, but it would be a great dinner with a simple salad.
 
AntoniaJames November 19, 2014
Yes. So, so yes. ;o)