Make Ahead

Spinach, Potato and Cheese Frittata

May 18, 2022
6 Ratings
Photo by Gary Schiro
  • Prep time 20 minutes
  • Cook time 45 minutes
  • Serves 4-6
Author Notes

If you’ve got a few eggs to hold things together, you’ve got a frittata. Scrounge around the fridge and pantry; leftover pasta, rice, grains, some stale bread… it can all work. Have some alliums? – bring ‘em on. Leftover cooked vegetables – in they go! Frittata is incredibly flexible.

You want the best eggs possible, but it doesn’t matter how good your eggs are if you treat them badly. Many omelets and frittatas are served pretty well browned, but if an egg has been brought to this overcooked state it becomes rubbery and sulfurous. Eggs that have been gently cooked retain their bright yellow color and a subtle sweet flavor.

In most of my frittatas, I like to compliment the creamy eggs with the contrast of a bitter green. Any sauteed green can work—kale, spinach, beet greens, radish tops. If I’m on top of my game, when fresh beets or radishes come home from the market, and if I don’t have plans to use them immediately, I like to quickly blanch and freeze them until I have enough for a frittata. On almost any given day, the green I have on hand is spinach, which, contrary to a childhood where I eschewed nearly all vegetables, I have always loved. If spinach is the green of the day, I now use frozen, for three good reasons: cost, waste, and taste. A 10-ounce box of frozen spinach costs around $1, is already blanched and reduced and will yield about one and a half cups. The box, sans wrapper, can be recycled. An 11-ounce plastic clam shell of fresh spinach is $5, and will cook down to only ¾ of a cup, and creates more waste. But most importantly, fresh spinach is very high in oxalic acid, which reduces our ability to absorb the calcium and iron found in spinach. This is why it can sometimes make you feel as though your teeth have little sweaters on them. Blanching spinach greatly reduces the oxalic acid and you are left with a delicate green, not one freighted with odd, metallic tastes. Whether using fresh or frozen, after blanching or sautéing, you want to get a much liquid out of the greens as possible. A wet frittata is a sad frittata.

On their own, browned potatoes are a wonderful thing, especially doused with some herbs and salt. But in the frittata, I want a harmony of flavors. I love when the potatoes are pillowy soft, starchy and earthy.

To balance these other flavors, I like to add a sharp cheese. Fontina, provolone, cheddar, Gruyere, or even goat or feta. Whatever you have on hand can work. I also usually add a little dusting of grated Parmesan or Romano once everything has been assembled.
Gary Schiro

What You'll Need
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Aleppo Pepper Flakes
  • 3 Large Potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 Medium Onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 8 Large Eggs
  • 1 Box (10 oz.) Frozen Spinach, blanched and drained, or any sauteed dark green (1&1/2 cups))
  • 1 1/2 cups Sharp cheese, cubed into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/4 cup Grated Romano or Pamesean cheese
  1. Add the butter and olive oil to a 10-inch nonstick or cast-iron pan over medium heat. Once the butter has foamed (the water cooks off), add the potatoes and cook gently, covered for 5 minutes, then uncovered for 10 minutes more, turning occasionally, until nearly cooked through. Add the diced onions, and cook 5 minutes until translucent, but not brown. Add the salt, pepper, and Aleppo pepper flakes.
  2. While the potatoes and onions are cooking, place the frozen spinach in a small covered saucepan with ¼ cup of water. Bring water to a full boil over high heat; reduce heat to medium. Cover & cook 8 minutes. Separate with a fork and cook 2 more minutes. Drain. When cool enough to handle, squeeze out all the liquid with a clean dish towel or your bare hand. You can also use a sturdy sieve and press with a rubber spatula. Remove as much moisture as possible.
  3. With a fork or whisk, beat 8 large eggs in a medium bowl vigorously until well mixed and no visible separation of whites and yolks is evident. Add the cooked, cooled spinach and half the cubed cheese and half the grated cheese.
  4. Pour the eggs mixture over the potatoes evenly in the pan. Dot the top of the frittata with the rest of the cheese cubes, and sprinkle over the grated cheese. Lower heat to medium low. Cook covered for 10 minutes, then uncovered for another 10. Check bottom with a flexible spatula. When it is firming up the frittata will begin to pull away from the sides.
  5. If your pan is oven safe, you can place the frittata in a 300-degree oven to finish cooking through. I prefer to slide the frittata out of the pan onto a tray or plate, and using pot holders to hold the underside of the pan, flip the top side back in so it is now on the bottom. Usually this only needs two minutes to firm up and finish cooking, then I flip it back out, onto a plate, then transfer to a wire rack so the bottom does not get soggy.
  6. Let it rest for at least 15 minutes to firm up, and let the flavors further meld. Ideally, let it rest for 60 to 90 minutes so it is just barely warm. Slice in wedges and serve with a tart green salad, and some crusty bread.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Pat Levins
    Pat Levins
  • Gary Schiro
    Gary Schiro
  • brushjl
  • Ann

4 Reviews

brushjl November 12, 2022
This is a little fussy, but if you have the time, it's a delicious weekend breakfast meal. I had some leftover baked potatoes that I threw in, also some broccolini. I don't buy the frozen is better than fresh spinach argument. A few cups of fresh spinach was perfect. I managed the flipping, it made for a beautiful presentation.
Pat L. May 29, 2022
I thoroughly enjoyed your article . I was transported to that farmhouse.
I liked the way that you added details to the recipe. Thank you.
Ann May 22, 2022
Tried this today after reading the house purchase story. Loved the story and the frittata even more. Having endured my previous attempts to make a frittata, the family loved this recipe. It was delicious! Finished in the oven. Don’t feel confident enough to slide and flip it yet. Thank you! Hope you are enjoying the house.
Gary S. May 23, 2022
So glad your family liked the frittata! You can also do the whole thing in the oven at 300 if you prefer. Flipping is not for the faint of heart, and very dependent on the right match up of plate (or other flat surface) and pan, and honestly I've had many drippy mishaps but the good thing is the frittata almost always survives. In the off-chance it doesn't - you've succeeded at making a cheesy, vegetable scramble!