Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cherry Tomato Frittata with Fresh Thyme

by Leslie Budewitz

I’ve been testing recipes for the third Seattle Spice Shop book, KILLING THYME—even though the second, GUILTY AS CINNAMON, won’t be out until December! But fresh thyme’s in season in my garden, and well, it’s always time for thyme, don’t you think?

Cherry and grape tomatoes are in season right now, too, although I admit my plants aren’t going to produce enough at one time this year to make a whole egg pie’s worth. (Started writing two mystery series and my garden went to seed—go figure.) We used a combination of red, yellow, and orange beauties in this dish.

But one of the wonderful things about this frittata is that it really knows no season. Because these days, we can get fresh tomatoes year-round and either grow our own herbs in windowsills or find fresh packs in the grocery stores. (For those of us old enough to remember when trucking and storage meant grocery stores’ winter fruit offerings were apples, bananas, oranges, and the occasional grapefruit, this is heaven. I still remember my mother going a little crazy at Albertson’s annual “February in Hawaii Days,” when the clerks donned Hawaiian shirts and the store flew in pineapple, coconut, and papaya. We weren’t quite sure what to do with them, but we ate the experiments with pleasure!)

A cast iron skillet is perfect for a frittata. Ours is too large, though, so we used a stainless skillet; it was a little harder to clean.

Frittatas are also super easy, super flexible, and reheat beautifully, making this a perfect dish for a light dinner—add a green salad, a crusty bread, and a glass of white wine—that can also be reheated for a yummy breakfast. The thyme and tomatoes made a lovely flavor, but it would also be yummy with an Italian herb blend (I’m working on one right now!) or herbes de Provence (there’s a recipe in ASSAULT & PEPPER, the first Spice Shop Mystery).

Turns out this recipe probably won't make the book---I just didn't need another dinner dish, and Pepper's rarely home for breakfast. So you get to enjoy it now---or any thyme of year!

And it's release day for  Daryl Wood Gerber--FUDGING THE BOOKS, a Cookbook Nook Mystery, and Peg Cochran, BERRIED SECRETS, first in her new Cranberry Cove Mysteries! Congratulations, Daryl and Peg, and HAPPY READING to all!

Cherry Tomato Frittata with Fresh Thyme

6 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 lb. cherry or grape tomatoes, stemmed
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbs. chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus more leaves for garnish
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, for topping

Preheat the oven to 450°F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and salt until well blended. Stir in both cheeses.

In a heavy, 9-inch skillet, over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the tomatoes and cook, shaking them around in the pan occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to brown in spots, about 1 minute. Add the garlic and thyme and continue cooking until the tomatoes are tender and have begun to burst, about 3 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and shake the pan to distribute the tomatoes evenly over the bottom. If like us, you have a very hot stove, you may want to take the pan off the heat for a minute or two; you want to avoid cooking the eggs too quickly.

Pour the egg mixture over the tomatoes and cook until the eggs are set at the edges, about 3 minutes.

Using a heat-resistant rubber spatula, work around the edge of the pan, gently separating the edge of the cooked eggs from the edge of the pan and allowing the uncooked eggs to flow underneath. When the eggs are softly set, with only a little liquid at the edges, after about 3 more minutes, smooth the top with a spatula and sprinkle 1/4 cup Parmesan on top.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the frittata is just set in the center, about 7 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let cool slightly, then sprinkle with additional thyme.

Cut into wedges and serve warm or at room temperature. Or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 day and serve cold. Serves 4.

Leslie's newest:  BUTTER OFF DEAD, third in the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries (July 2015)

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. She lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Connect with her on her website, on Facebook,
or on Twitter.


  1. I feel like a newbie because I'm not sure what frittatas are (besides food that looks sort of related to an omelette), but you had me when you said they are easy to make. It does look good. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

    1. Jen, think quiche without a crust. Frittatas are typically started on the stove top, then finished in the oven. This is an easy one to start with. Here's another one -- potato-broccolini, from ASSAULT & PEPPER (the recipe's in the back of the book, too) Enjoy -- and happy cooking! http://www.mysteryloverskitchen.com/2015/01/eatingand-cookingmy-way-through-pike.html

  2. Tomatoes will be red soon in my garden, what a delicious way to use them!

    1. The stovetop grilling gives them a wonderful burst of flavor. Enjoy!

  3. Thanks for a wonderful taste of summer, Leslie! Love this.



  4. I love frittatas. They are my go-to breakfast when I need something nice in a hurry. I'll have to try putting some cheery tomatoes in. Yum!

    1. They are GREAT for guests -- and I LOVE the leftovers!