When I lived in Florence, it was totally the norm to take your lunch with a glass of wine, often around noon (or before). Most weekdays, and some midday Saturdays, you could find me doing so at Casa del Vino, where there was always a spread of amazing salads, cheeses, and meats to behold in the case. There were hunks of Tuscan bread, eggs for cold omelettes, piles of glorious produce.
One of my favorite combinations at this very tiny, very wonderful wine bar included a glass of local wine, plus a sandwich made with those cold omelettes, a thick slice of cheese, and greens (and sometimes sun-dried tomatoes—not 90s if you're ordering them in Italy, promise).
So when I stumbled across Merrill's frittata of spring greens, asparagus, and Fontina, I was immediately transported back—the ingredient list ached of Tuscany, a region known for its wealth of vegetables. And this kind of abundance was what inspired her to develop the recipe in the first place, taking cues from a particularly fabulous famers market haul.
What I love most about this frittata is how versatile it is: Serve it warm at the center of your weekend brunch among other favorites, store it for later and cut it into pieces for sandwiches or to top salads with—you could even chop it and add it to rice dishes, or slice it thin for a bowl of noodles. Merrill has made it for countless parties, adding that since it's just as good at room temperature as it is hot, it's perfect for buffet-style parties when people end up sitting down to eat at different times.
Frittatas, however, can be be famously fickle, where one minute they are still gooey and custard-like and the next a little too overdone. Merrill's advice for this? "Watch it like a hawk!" shes says. "Remove it from the oven when it's still just the teeniest bit wobbly."
The eggs will finish cooking when they come out of the oven, and this way, she explains, you'll avoid rubberiness. She suggests to skip adding milk to the eggs, which can also lend to a rubbery texture. And spring greens aren't the only ingredients that do exceptionally well here: Just like most breakfast egg recipes, frittatas are a good vessel for a variety of toss-ins—Merrill likes the following combinations:
- Roasted tomatoes and hard herbs, like thyme or rosemary
- Peas and pea greens
- Caramelized onions and mushrooms
And when you've pulled this beauty out of the oven and guests are peeking at it with expectation over their glasses of wine, plunk it down right in the middle of a Merrill-approved spread:
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
- 6 cups spring greens (arugula, mustard, etc.), roughly chopped
- 10 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh marjoram
- salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 ounces Fontina, cut into small cubes
- 2 tablespoons chopped chives
We're partnering with Ruffino Wines to share recipes for food and drink throughout the year that'll get you living like an Italian (in spirit—although we can't promise you won't want to pick up and move there). See all their wines here.