Cast Iron

Frittata with Bread and Cherry Tomatoes

August 18, 2011
4 Ratings
Photo by Bobbi Lin
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This dish is my interpretation of frittata di pane, inspired by the version in Faith Heller Willinger’s gem of a cookbook, Adventures of an Italian Food Lover. The simplest of ingredients are transformed into something unique and delicious. The frittata is studded with hunks of peasant bread and crisped and browned on both sides, resulting in a savory French toast of sorts. I like adding a little cream and a handful of minced chives and grated Pecorino Romano for extra flavor and texture. To serve, you cut the frittata into wedges and top with a simple salad of basil and cherry tomatoes. You could use roasted cherry tomatoes, but I find the fresh, juicy tomatoes against the warm, eggy toast to be just right. It’s good any time of day, and to me, just the right remedy when you want to cook something that’s simple yet completely soul-satisfying. - EmilyC —EmilyC

Test Kitchen Notes

This frittata is your delicious passport to southern Italy. The bread transforms it into an almost savory cake where the taste of the pepper and pecorino blend perfectly with the basil-infused juices of the cherry tomato salad (if you're a serious tomato lover, I'd up them by 1/4 cup or so). The result is not unlike panzanella. Fear not the flipping; it's pretty easy. Just use a spatula on the underside and a wooden spoon on the other for support and you're home free. I would recommend browning side one of the frittata for 7 minutes and 5 minutes for side two. And when it's done, it looks great served on a wooden cutting board. - favabean —favabean

What You'll Need
  • 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
  1. To prepare the cherry tomato salad: Cut the cherry tomatoes into halves or quarters, depending on their size. Place the tomatoes in a salad bowl and add 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, basil, and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside while preparing the frittata.
  2. To prep the frittata: In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, heavy cream, 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, chives, Pecorino Romano, ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Add the bread cubes and stir to thoroughly coat each piece. Soak, stirring occasionally, until the bread has soaked up almost all of the eggs. Fresher, softer bread will only take 3 to 5 minutes, while older, staler bread will take 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. To cook the frittata: Heat 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in a 10” nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium-low heat. Add the egg-soaked bread mixture, pressing it down with your hands or a spatula into an even layer. Cook until the frittata is golden brown and solid enough to flip over. Slip the frittata onto a plate and heat the remaining 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil in the skillet. Return the frittata to the pan on its second side. Don’t worry if it breaks up a little during the flipping or transfer – just piece and press it back together with your hands. Cook until it’s golden brown and crisp on the second side, then transfer to a cutting board.
  4. To serve: Slice the frittata into large wedges, and top each wedge with tomato salad, making sure to include the tomato juices that have accumulated in the bottom of the bowl.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • linzarella
  • JanetFL
  • EmilyC
  • Sonia

Recipe by: EmilyC

I'm a home cook. I love salads. Two things you'll always find in my refrigerator are lemons and butter, and in my pantry good quality chocolate and the makings for chocolate chip cookies.

10 Reviews

Sonia July 8, 2016
I will try this. Though I never try to flip my frittatas -- just dust them with mixture of grated cheese and bread crumbs and run under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until lightly browned. My husband and I would eat half hot for dinner, and the rest cold for lunch the next day.
EmilyC July 9, 2016
I think your idea to broil the top will work just fine here. Let me know what you think of you try this!
linzarella December 10, 2015
This recipe is a lifesaver. I started making Tartine bread, but can't get through the loaf before it gets stale. For a bread recipe that takes 3 days to make, I need a really honorable way to use it up! This was fantastic, it's going into my regular rotation.
EmilyC December 10, 2015
I can only imagine how good this frittata must be with Tartine bread! So glad this recipe is making its way into your rotation. Thanks for trying this and circling back!
JanetFL July 3, 2013
Maybe you should plan my dinners - love all of your recipes! I guess I haven't given you that impression previously! This is so perfect for summer - thanks, Emily.
EmilyC July 7, 2013
Thanks, Janet, for the very nice comment! Actually, this frittata is on my meal plan for this week. Hope you give it a try!
TryItSheSaid January 16, 2012
EmilyC January 17, 2012
Great to hear...thanks!
sepej December 17, 2011
Delicious! Even gave it the thumbs up and he's usually not a fan of fritattas.
EmilyC December 17, 2011
So happy to hear this!