Showing posts with label Frittata. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Frittata. Show all posts

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.

Monday, June 16, 2014

The Zucchini Thief

Does anyone else think that sounds like the title of a French novel?

I'm always a little late getting our garden started. I see people planting their vegetable gardens in April but our area is prone to frost right up to May 15th. So I guess I'm not so much late as they are early.

I bought three zucchini plants and four yellow squash plants. They're blooming, and I finally saw our first little zucchini. I watched it, planning to use it in this dish. But last night, when I went to collect it, someone beat me to it. Now I'm not naming names but the guilty party knew a crime had been committed and ran like the dickens. Half of the purloined zucchini was left behind and consumed by his accomplice who undoubtedly intended to get rid of the evidence.

You remember these guys. Thief and accomplice are in this photo.

But drat the luck. The yellow squashes are blooming and developing and – they sure look like zucchini to me! LOL! You might be seeing a *lot* of zucchini recipes from me this summer.

The look huge in this picture! They were about 3 inches long!

Consequently, I used three teensy baby zucchinis in this dish. I'm not quite sure what to call it. One of my friends recently made a quiche in which she used no crust but she poured something over the top that sort of made a crust. Must get that recipe from her! So I had a crustless quiche in mind but when I made this, I thought it was really more like a pan-less frittata.

Technically, I believe a quiche is supposed to be made with a savory custard. While this is very good, and we snarfed it up, I don't think simply adding milk to the eggs before baking constitutes a custard. On the other hand, there are baked custards. Anyone have opinions?

In my Domestic Diva Mysteries, people often write letters like this to Sophie.

Dear Sophie,

My evil mother-in-law never gives me more than an hour advance notice when she's coming over. It puts me in a tizzy because I never know whether to clean or to make something to serve her. We won't even mention getting dressed. I've entertained her in my bathrobe more than once. I have begged her to please let me know when she's coming so that I can prepare something nice. I think she takes delight in her surprise inspections.

~Tired Daughter-in-Law in a Bathrobe That Needs Washing
Dear Tired Daughter-in-Law,

Tell hubby to clean (after all, it's his mom), make a crustless quiche, and you'll still have time to ditch the dirty bathrobe. The wonderful aroma will bowl her over when she walks in the door. It can be made from items in the fridge and takes almost no time to put together.


Sophie's Tip: Use your vegetable peeler to slice cheese quickly!

This is just the kind of recipe Sophie is talking about. It's yummy for a quick brunch, lunch, or dinner, even if you don't have an evil mother-in-law!

Crustless Quiche/Pan-less Frittata

one deep dish pie pan

butter for greasing pan
1 cup thinly sliced zucchini
1/2 cup chopped ham (or bacon!)
1/3 cup thinly sliced cheese (I used Asiago)

5-6 eggs (use 5 if they're large or extra large)
1 teaspoon pink sea salt
pepper to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 teaspoon sage
2/3 cup milk and heavy cream combined (I just used a splash of cream)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375. Grease the pan with butter. Combine the zucchini, ham, and cheese in a bowl and mix. Spread in the bottom of the pie pan.

Whisk the eggs with the salt, pepper, garlic powder, and sage. Add the milk/cream and whisk to combine. Pour gently over the contents of the pie pan so you don't dislodge anything. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top.

Bake 45 minutes.

Mix ham, zucchini, and cheese,
Spread in greased pan.

Pour egg/milk mixture over everything.

SprinkleParmesan cheese on top.

In bookstores now!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bacon-Ricotta Frittata

A very warm welcome back to Jenn McKinlay, whom many of you know from her days as a Mystery Lovers' Kitchen regular. Jenn's exciting new Hat Shop Mystery series debuted this week! Set in London, the first in the series is Cloche and Dagger!

And now, Jenn!

So, after fourteen years, three months and a handful of days, the marriage was over.  It was not an easy decision to come to, there was emotional investment and sentimental attachment on both sides, but we both knew it was time.  My beloved skillet, given to me on my wedding day, the same pan that had cooked my hooligans first forays into chewable food and introduced them to the delights of bacon, had fried its last batch of hash browns.   A moment of silence, please.
My mourning period took a bit longer than the Hub and the hooligans would have liked.  I simply could not speed date my way into a new skillet.  “I am going through the five stages of grief, now quit rushing me,” I would say when their requests for something cookable only in a large frying pan went denied – again and again. 

And then, one day, on a random trip to IKEA, a twelve inch blue sided, oven/stove capable skillet caught my eye.  It was a flirty little thing that I refused to acknowledge at first because it was just so forward with its long handle and thick bottom.  I circled around it a few times, pretending I was really interested in the pizza cutters hanging nearby.  But its name Trovardig would not be denied.  In Swedish, it means reliable, trustworthy, and faithful.   I decided to give it a chance.

The first thing we cooked together was a parmesan-ricotta frittata recommended to me by a writer friend, which she found at, but which I changed up a bit to accommodate my not loving the greens so much herd.  This was going to be my new pan’s equivalent of the meeting of the parents moment.  I was nervous for it, but I thought that if we worked together we could get through it.  Well, let me just say, Trovardig exceeded my expectations and cooked up an amazing frittata that won over the Hub and hooligans and firmly established its presence in our home and cemented our new relationship.  I had not thought that I could love again, but I was wrong.  For a heart that is open, room can always be made for new cookware.

Bacon-Ricotta Frittata


1 package cooked and crumbled bacon
1 bunch diced green onions
8 cups diced kale and mustard greens
12 large eggs
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup fresh, fine grated parmesan cheese (divided into ¾ and ¼ cups)
15 ounces whole milk ricotta cheese

Directions:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook bacon in (new) skillet until crisp.  Transfer bacon to a separate plate.  Set aside the bacon drippings by pouring them into a bowl.  Return 2 tablespoons of the drippings to the pan and fry the green onions for about four minutes over medium heat.  Add half of the diced up greens and toss for a minute until they begin to wilt.  Add the remaining greens and sauté for about ten minutes until they are wilted.  Transfer to a plate.  Rinse and dry (new) skillet.  Beat eggs in a large bowl.  Whisk in ¾ cup Parmesan cheese, then greens and half of the bacon.  Stir in the ricotta but not too much, leave some clumps.  Heat one tablespoon of the bacon drippings in the skillet over medium heat.  Pour in egg mixture, making sure the greens and bacon are spread evenly.  Sprinkle remaining bacon and ¼ cup Parmesan over the eggs.  Cook for ten minutes until the edges are set and then transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes.  Once the frittata is set, remove it from the oven and loosen it around the edges and carefully transfer it to a platter.  Let cool for 30 minutes.  Apparently, frittatas are supposed to be just a bit warmer than room temperature.  Slices into wedges and enjoy with a nice loaf of bread and a fruit salad.


The original recipe can be found at:

Thank you, Krista, for inviting me to visit my favorite kitchen!  It was delightful as always.

This month brings the debut of a new series for me.  Cloche and Dagger, the lead title in the London Hat Shop mysteries, was released on August 6th.  I am very excited to be writing about a milliner in London and not just because I get to go there to do research, no actually, that’s exactly why I love this series.  London is one of my favorite cities and to get to go there – well, it’s a dream come true.  If you have any interest in seeing what other shenanigans I’m up to, you can find me at my website or on facebook at or on Twitter

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Artichoke Frittata Appetizer ala Avery

Easy peasy. That's my motto at the end of summer. I like things to be simple but tasty recipes. Just a few ingredients. Lots of flavor.

I know my new character, Jenna Hart, in A Cookbook Nook Mystery series would approve. She's not a cook, though she is a foodie and avid reader. Her Aunt Vera and other fun characters in the series will be helping her learn to cook more often. Right at the onset, the fewer the items the better.

What's a frittata? According to the "Wise Geek" (a google research engine), food historians believe the frittata probably predates the omelet. It's Italian. Might have been served at Lent (no meat involved). Unlike an omelet, it is not folded over and finished on the top of the stove. It is baked and/or broiled. Eggs and cheese, what's not to like? Frittatas are like quiche without the crust. This recipe comes to me, not from a cookbook, but from one of my mom's old recipe cards, passed along to her by a friend with the last name Pomeroy. I used to make this all the time as an appetizer that I would cut into little bite-sized pieces and serve at Christmas parties. Now, it simply makes sense to make it as an appetizer with dinner, a side dish, or as a meal and serve with salad. 


4 eggs slightly beaten
6 soda crackers (for gluten-free use GF crackers)
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese, shredded
1 can 14 ounces artichokes hearts, in water, drained
4 green onions, diced
½ teaspoon white pepper
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon oil


Saute onions and artichokes in oil for about 3 minutes, until green onions tender.  Cool.

Mix eggs, crackers, cheese and spices.

Add onions and artichokes.

Bake in 8” square oiled pan at 325 degrees 35-40 minutes.

Serve hot or cold.

For appetizer, cut inito bite-sized pieces.

For side dish, cut into 2-3” square portions.


What is your favorite recipe that someone in your family passed along to you?


I'm very excited to share my newest cover for the 
4th in A Cheese Shop Mystery series: 

You can pre-order the book HERE. 

You can learn more about me, Avery, by clicking this link.
Chat with me on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you haven't done so, sign up for the mailing list
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Also, you probably know about my alter ego.
debuts July 2013

"Like" Daryl's page on Facebook and "follow" Daryl on Twitter.
"She" doesn't say all the same things "Avery" does. Promise.


I'm pleased to announce that my short story, PALACE ON THE LAKE,  in Fish Tales: A Guppy Anthology has been nominated for both the Anthony Award and Macavity Award. 
Go Sisters in Crime Guppies! 
Without them, my career would not be possible. The group support is invaluable!
You can read PALACE ON THE LAKE by clicking on the title above. :)

Say cheese!


Monday, June 18, 2012


First, I have to thank everyone who bought a copy of The Diva Digs up the Dirt. Your purchases sent it to #31 on the New York Times bestseller list for mass market fiction. I can't tell you how much I appreciate all my readers! Thank you, thank you! I'm still a little giddy about it even though I've known since Wednesday.

Clearly the electric company did not realize that I was in celebratory mode because on Thursday, I woke to no electricity. Thank goodness I've been trying out cupcake recipes for my next book. I had orange juice and cupcakes for breakfast. In my defense, the cupcakes were mocha and contained coffee . . .

fill 1/2 full
Power outages in the summer aren't all that common, but it brought these mini-frittatas to mind. I had made French toast a million times for my friends and was ready to try something new. These are a fun variation for breakfast. They're also terrific for breakfast on the run because they're neat to eat (no crumbs, great for car trips), full of protein for energy, and pack easily in a bit of tin foil that can be thrown out. I think they would be great for picnics and days spent on the water because they taste as good cold as they do warm.

they puff in the oven

and fall when taken out

The addition of garlic powder in my scrambled eggs always reminds me of this story.

Many years ago, I lived in an apartment in New York City with two roommates. One of the roommates had an older brother who also lived in the city, and he had a good friend who came over to our place for dinner one night.  As the evening progressed, he had a little bit too much to drink, and we knew it wouldn't be safe for him to drive home, so we put him up on the couch.

Well, he had the nerve to pay each of us girls a visit that night. One after the other, we kicked him out of our rooms. At one point in the middle of the night, everyone was awake and arguing about whether or not to send him packing. By morning, we were still steaming mad at him. Seeking revenge, we added plenty of powdered garlic to the scrambled eggs -- and they were terrific. We still laugh about how our passive act of revenge backfired on us because we loved those eggs and always added powdered garlic after that. I still do! Maybe the real revenge is that I can remember the garlic, but not his name . . .

makes 12

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
9 large eggs
1 teaspoon garlic powder
3/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 400.

Grease the wells of a cupcake tin well with olive oil.

Cook the onions and mushrooms in one tablespoon olive oil until soft. Remove from heat and divide among the 12 cupcake wells. Whisk the eggs well with the salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Pour over the onions and mushrooms dividing among the cupcake wells, filling each about 1/2 full.

Bake 10 minutes.