Oven-baked frittata

I first discovered frittata via the Cottage Smallholder site. I often cook one from scratch for a quick supper or picnic lunch, but it is a wonderful vehicle for turning leftovers into something delicious in their own right — providing of course that you are selective about what you put in it. Just throwing in the contents of the fridge without regard to whether the flavours and textures are complementary is not going to give you a good result.

Normally, I cook frittata slowly in a frying pan and finish it off with a couple of minutes under the grill to set the top. This time, I had some left-over roasted vegetables to use up, and was inspired to do it differently. It’s a very quick and easy dish if you have left-over roasted veg, but of course you can cook them from scratch. I always do plenty when I roast vegetables, because they are one of the best kinds of left-overs you can have. Toss them into a salad with rice, pasta, or Ebly and some toasted nuts, blend with some home-made stock and spices and make a delicious soup, use them to fill quiches or omelettes …

For 3-4 people
About 400 g mixed veg — I used half a butternut squash and 1 large leek, but choose what you like
2 cloves garlic, chopped
olive oil
1 medium onion
5-6 eggs
salt and pepper
50 g cheese (I used feta, but cheddar or Gruyère will work fine)
Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 200 C. If the vegetables aren’t already roasted, peel and cut the squash into chunks of about 2cm, and clean and thickly slice the leek. Spread on a roasting tray, sprinkle with salt and plenty of olive oil, and then use your hands to turn everything over in the oil. Roast for about 15 minutes, then add the chopped garlic, give everything a stir, and return to the oven for another 15-20 minutes, till the vegetables are soft and beginning to caramelise. Reduce the heat to 180 C.

Meanwhile, heat some olive oil in a frying pan, slice the onion and fry gently, stirring occasionally until it is lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

Tip all the roasted vegetables into a gratin dish — I used a round one of about 22 cm diameter, but an oblong one is fine too. It’s important that the vegetables and egg combined should be at least 2 cm deep; thin, leathery frittata is not good. Pop the dish in the oven for 5-10 minutes to heat through. Sprinkle over the caramelised onion. Dice the cheese, sprinkle that over, and season with pepper.

Beat the eggs and pour over the hot vegetables. Sprinkle with grated parmesan. Immediately return the dish to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the egg is just set and lightly browned on top. Serve warm or at room temperature, with chilli jam.

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