Weeknight CookingBreakfastWhat to CookBreadCooking with ScrapsEggs

If a Frittata and a Strata Had a Baby

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I’m slowly being won over on stale bread.

Oh, I’ve always known the appeal of breadcrumbs and croutons; I’ve just been skeptical of other uses for stale bread—often they're so very mushy. But I’ve come around, first to stuffing, then to soup, and now to combining eggs and stale bread.

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I’ve said before that stratas (and their dessert counterpart, bread pudding) aren’t quite as unappealing as some other soggier uses for stale bread, since the eggy soaked bread is partially firmed back up from cooking—but only partially. Even so, I regularly make stratas: Inevitably, bread goes stale, and croutons and breadcrumbs are versatile, but there’s a limit to their versatility—and so, enter stratas, made with whatever lingering vegetables and odds and ends are in the fridge. I always swipe the edges,​ though. The middle has too great of a mush-to-crust ratio.

Frittata with Bread and Cherry Tomatoes
Frittata with Bread and Cherry Tomatoes

Which is why it’s not surprising that I’ve fallen for EmilyC’s Frittata with Bread and Cherry Tomatoes. The dish is her interpretation of frittata di pane, inspired by the version in Faith Heller Willinger’s cookbook, Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. It’s full of bread, like a strata, but has the thinness of a frittata: There’s no mushy middle to be found! Plus, you’re crisping both sides of it, which, as she says, results in a savory French toast of sorts.

We eat eggs for dinner all the time, and this frittata is another option that should be added to the rotation. It's flavored with minced chives and grated Pecorino Romano and then topped with cherry tomatoes and basil​. The whole dish comes together quickly, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner—but plated, it’s pretty enough to serve to company for a weekend brunch.

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Frittata with Bread and Cherry Tomatoes

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Serves 4
  • 6 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon finely minced chives
  • 2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • Kosher salt + freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups stale, rustic bread cubes (3/4- to 1-inch cubes)
  • 1 heaping cup cherry tomatoes, mixed colors and varieties if possible
  • 1 handful of roughly torn basil leaves

Know of a great recipe hiding in the Food52 archives that uses an overlooked kitchen scrap (anything from commonly discarded produce parts to stale bread to bones and more)? Tell me about it in the comments: I want to know how you're turning what would otherwise be trash into a dish to treasure!


Tags: cooking with scraps, stale bread