Since moving to Australia, I have developed a new-found love and appreciation for the humble egg. All my life, I guess you could say I sorta looked down on eggs, seeing them as a mere necessity and a boring staple to be had just on their own. Having eggs for dinner was not a thought that was even remotely exciting, nor did I think that they could be the star of a meal that was anything but dull.
Boy, was I wrong!
Turns out, I had underestimated them tremendously and not given them the chance they truly deserved.
The breakfast/brunch scene here in Sydney is HUGE. There is a saying that goes “all happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast”, and it seems as though Australians live by this motto.
Venture onto the streets on any weekend, come rain or sunshine, and you are bound to find the local cafés dotting the area bustling with activity; the sound of relaxed happy people, the clinking of their plates & the intoxicating smell of coffee luring you to join them. This country knows how to breakfast you guys.
The first time I had scrambled eggs here was a revelation. They had no resemblance whatsoever to the rubbery, grainy pale curds of overcooked eggs I reluctantly ate my whole life; but rather they were velvety soft curves of golden, moist & tender folds bursting with flavour. We began rediscovering eggs one dish at a time until my husband and I have now officially re-declared our everlasting love and appreciation for the variety, simplicity & absolute deliciousness of this most basic yet miraculous ingredient.
Other than enjoying them on weekends for breakfast, we now rarely go a week without having an egg-based dish for dinner. One of my favourites is the frittata.
It is basically a fancy omelette, loaded with add-ins of your choice and cooked mostly in the oven till it is lovely and puffed up and golden. I love how you can just throw whatever odd bits you have lying around in your fridge into it and end up with such an easy to make, tasty and filling meal that is also incredibly healthy. All you need is a salad next to it and you’re good to go!
Here, I share my current favourite frittata combo of roast pumpkin, spinach, shallot/onion and creamy ricotta cheese. I first made it when I had some leftover cooked pumpkin shriveling away sadly in the fridge, and we both loved it so much that I now roast the pumpkin especially for the frittata.
After the pumpkin is cooked, I add it to some sautéed onion or shallot in my cast iron skillet. I then add the spinach, pour over the egg mixture, dot the top with the cheese and transfer the whole thing to a preheated oven to cook.
It is best if you have a skillet that is both stove-top & oven-proof for easier clean-up, but if you don’t, you can cook the onion in a non-stick skillet and then transfer it to an oven-proof dish/cake pan and add the rest of the ingredients. No worries!
You can make a frittata with anything!
Think; fresh veggies like capsicums, grated zucchini, chillies, spring onion & kale, or cooked veggies like potato, mushroom & sweet potato. Herbs of your choice can be added, as well as all sorts of cheese (FYI, cheese makes any frittata better. Come to think of it, cheese makes any situation better actually…).
Isn’t it wonderful to know that such a simple, affordable, dead easy and extremely nutritious dinner is just a carton of eggs away?
Frittata with Pumpkin, Spinach & Ricotta
- 600-800 g pumpkin cut into 2cm cubes (no need to bring out your rulers)
- 2 cups spinach leaves/kale leaves
- 1 medium onion, sliced
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk
- 150 g fresh ricotta or goat cheese/feta cheese
- Salt & pepper
- Olive oil
- Preheat oven to 220 C.
- Cut your pumpkin, drizzle with 2 tbsp. olive oil, sprinkle with salt and spread onto a non-stick baking sheet in one layer. Bake for 15 minutes until softened. Remove from oven, then turn down the oven temperature to 200 C.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs well with the milk and salt & pepper. Set aside.
- In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, cook the onions in some olive oil until soft and slightly caramelized, about 5-10min. Add your roast pumpkin, spinach leaves and egg mixture. Add blobs of the cheese on top and transfer the whole skillet to your preheated oven.
- Cook the frittata for 30-40min, until golden and puffed up. Serve immediately.
- If you do not own a cast iron skillet, fear not!
- Place an oiled oven-safe dish or cake pan in the oven to heat up.
- Cook the onions on the stove in any pan/skillet you have and then transfer them to your prepared (hot!) oven-safe dish or cake pan, add the rest of your ingredients and quickly return the dish to the oven to cook.