Here at Food52, we love recipes -- but do we always use them? Of course not. Because once you realize you don't always need a recipe, you'll make your favorite dishes a lot more often.
Today: One of the simplest Not Recipes to date is just a few minutes away from your next spring brunch.
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If you've been following along, chances are good you've kept your cookbooks on the shelf for a weeknight dinner or two in the last few weeks. Maybe you've made meatballs, blended up soups, stirred risottos -- all without so much as a glance at a recipe. You're probably a regular pro at stir-fried noodles.
We have more good news: out of all the recipe-less dishes you've made so far, this ranks among the simplest. Why? Because all you have to do is break a few eggs, sauté, and enlist a little help from your broiler.
How to Make Any Frittata in 5 Steps
1. Start by cooking your vegetables over medium heat in a little oil, maybe with a bit of chopped garlic or shallot. This is a great place to use up leftovers. Or, if you're like us, you'll play this step cool with market-fresh fiddleheads and foraged morels. You know, because we're casual.
2. Once everything is tender, add beaten, seasoned eggs. (Add anywhere from 6 to 10, depending on the size of your crowd and also of your pan.) Add cheese (kind: any -- we used ricotta) into your egg mixture before you add it to the pan, or sprinkle it on after if you forgot this step or you want to place it strategically.
3. To make sure all of your foraged vegetables are evenly distributed, stir just a bit.
4. Employ the edge-lift technique: gently lift up the set portions of your frittata and let any egg mixture that is not set run into the space you've created. This will help everything to cook evenly, and will be a good piece of trivia to tell your friends at cocktail parties.
5. As soon as the eggs begin to set over the stove (this should take about 10 minutes), slide the whole thing under the broiler briefly to finish cooking (remember, it will keep cooking in the hot pan after you pull it out). If you're a purist, pull your frittata the moment it starts to color. If you're not, cook it until it's as carmelized and toasty as your heart desires. When you're cooking without a recipe, you can do what you want, right?
Now, you can serve it in the pan if you like the way it looks, or turn it out onto a nice platter (cover pan with platter, carefully invert, hold breath, remove pan -- if it's ugly, flip it back over). Serve warm, at room temp, or cold -- you've got options there, too.
We're looking for contributors! Email [email protected] and tell us the dish you could make in your sleep, without a recipe.
Photos by James Ransom
A New Way to Dinner, co-authored by Food52's founders Amanda Hesser and Merrill Stubbs, is an indispensable playbook for stress-free meal-planning (hint: cook foundational dishes on the weekend and mix and match ‘em through the week).
I have a thing for most foods topped with a fried egg, a strange disdain for overly soupy tomato sauce, and I can never make it home without ripping off the end of a newly-bought baguette. I like spoons very much.