We recently had some family come stay with us and I was at a loss when it came with to dinner plans. One of the folks were vegetarian so I had to think of a dish that would please everyone. You would think this would come easy to me since I've been a vegetarian before. I've probably spent 3 years on and off in my life not eating meat. So why couldn't I think of one dish?!
After falling asleep watching the Food Network on a lazy afternoon, I woke up to the dulcet sounds of The Barefoot Contessa. I don't remember what she was even making but Ina's face jostled my memory. I'll make her famous potato basil frittata!
This dish is a real crowd pleaser. I've made it for brunch, lunch and dinner. It has tender potatoes, flavorful gruyere cheese and a brightness from the fresh basil. Served with a green salad, it is a great make ahead meal.
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, divided
2 cups of peeled and 1/2 inch diced boiling potatoes (about 4)
8 extra large eggs
15 ounces of ricotta cheese
3/4 pounds of gruyere cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon of baking powder
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in a 10 inch ovenproof omelet pan over medium to low heat. Add potatoes and fry them until cooked through, turning often, about 10-15 minutes. Melt the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter in a small dish in the microwave.
This is how to chop basil without bruising it. It's called a chiffonade. Stack your leaves, roll like a cigar, and cut into thin ribbons.
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, then stir in the ricotta, gruyere, melted butter, salt, pepper, and basil. Sprinkle on the flour and baking powder and stir into the egg mixture.
Pour the egg mixture over the potatoes and place the pan in the center of the oven.
Bake the frittata until it is browned and puffed, 50 minutes to 1 hour. It will be rounded and firm in the middle and a knife inserted in the frittata should come out clean. Serve hot.
Served with some greens, this makes a great evening meal and the leftovers are excellent for breakfast too!