Frittata

Turn Last Night's Grain Salad Into This Weekend's Brunch

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April  7, 2018

If you’ve got a batch of cooked farro in the fridge, or even a half-used bag of uncooked farro kicking around in your pantry, the solution to tonight’s dinner and tomorrow’s brunch is the same: a farro frittata. Start with farro salad (either freshly made or leftover), cover the salad with eggs and cream, cook it in a skillet, and ta-da! A frittata is born.

All breakfasts should be creamy, eggy, and packed with greens and grains. Photo by Ty Mecham

I’ve made countless farro salads over the years, and I’m no stranger to frittatas, either. So why it took me so long to combine the two, I’ll never know. I’m trying hard to make up for lost time by whipping one up every chance I get.

What I like most about farro frittata is that it’s not only a new way to use my favorite grain, it’s a new, more thoughtful way to make a frittata. Many foods benefit from “the salad treatment” (case in point, this Farro Gratin with Brussels Sprouts, which is essentially a farro salad dressed up in a gratin sweater), and frittata is no different. Good frittatas, like salads, need acid for oomph and balance. Though we instinctively salt our eggs, we’re rarely taught to add acid to perk up even the richest egg dishes. But consider how revelatory a fried egg with vinegar is, or how much verve a squeeze of fresh lemon adds to an omelet or scrambled eggs.

Like the best salads, the best frittatas require a combination of flavors and textures to keep each bite interesting; each individual component needs to be well-seasoned and balanced for the dish to taste its best. Frittatas are the ultimate clean-out-the-fridge meal solution, but often, they end up being less than the sum of their parts because they lack one or more of these basic seasoning elements. Starting with farro salad removes these pitfalls and results in a heartier, spunkier frittata.

My favorite frittata starts with a simple farro salad that has charred, shaved broccoli, aged Cheddar, and a punchy, lemony vinaigrette. After the farro salad joins a mixture of eggs, cream, and harissa (I like my frittatas with a spicy kick), cook the whole thing on the stovetop until large curds form, like in a soft scramble, and finish it in the oven for an ultra-creamy texture. Before serving the frittata, top it with tender herbs dressed with a little more vinaigrette. Even if you skip the herb salad topper, a final drizzle of vinaigrette on the frittata itself brightens up all of the flavors.

Best of all, this farro frittata is endlessly riffable. Use other grains in place of the farro, like wheat berries, quinoa, or spelt. Toss the grains with a different vinaigrette of your choosing. Change up the broccoli for sautéed asparagus in the spring, grilled eggplant in the summer, or roasted butternut squash in the fall. Let feta, mozzarella, or goat cheese stand in for the aged Cheddar. Don’t have any herbs? Top the frittata with peppery arugula or a mix of tender greens instead. Whatever shape your grain salad takes, just be sure to cook a double batch—some to eat now, and the rest to turn into a frittata.

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