Holiday leftovers reinvented

Looking for a great way to transform last night’s pasta, meat ‘n’ potatoes or veggie side into a whole new meal?  Look no further than the frittata, a savoury egg-based dish that is perhaps best described as a cross between an omelet and a quiche.  Dreamed up by the ever-resourceful Italians, the frittata was likely invented as a way to use up ingredients like leftover cooked vegetables, pasta and meat.

I’m not a fan of throwing away good food, but at the same time I grow tired of eating even the most scrumptious meal for more than a day.  So in the spirit of making the most of your delicious holiday surplus, I’ve come up with a few frittata recipes based on common meals served around this time of year.  All you need is an oven-safe heavy-bottomed skillet, some oil, salt and pepper, and approximately 6 eggs, beaten.

The general recipe is pretty basic:  Preheat broiler.  On the stove, heat oil in the skillet over medium heat.  Sauté some chopped onion and add a generous amount of pre-cooked (i.e., leftover) vegetables, meat and/or pasta, cooking until heated through.  Stir some salt, pepper, herbs and spices into the eggs and pour evenly over the ingredients.  Cook until eggs are set, about 6-10 minutes.  Sprinkle your favourite cheese on top, and broil until golden brown (this is where the oven-safe pan comes in handy–it’s super easy to transfer from the stove top to the oven).  Slice the frittata into pie-style wedges and serve with a side salad.

Try any (or all) of the following frittata ideas using the ingredients most likely to be clogging up your fridge right now:

  • Roast Chicken-Butternut Squash Frittata = Shredded roast chicken (or turkey) + roast butternut squash + baby spinach + fresh or dried sage
  • Green Peas & Ham Frittata = Honey baked ham + roasted red potatoes + green peas + cheddar cheese
  • Spaghetti Frittata = Cooked spaghetti + marinara sauce + parmesan cheese + fresh parsley + fresh basil
  • Rustic Antipasto Frittata = Marinated artichoke hearts + roasted red peppers + sun-dried tomatoes + black olives + hot salami + goat cheese
  • Pizza Frittata = Pepperoni + green bell pepper + red onion + tomato sauce + mozzarella
  • Veggie  Lover’s Frittata = Asparagus + mushrooms + red bell pepper + broccoli + baby spinach

The combinations are endless, so you can experiment with pretty much anything.  You might have to play with proportions a little, making sure you have a good ingredient-to-egg ratio.  In most recipes I’ve seen, the quantity of meat, vegetables and pasta is quite generous, making the egg more of a ‘filler’ than the star of the show.

Any way you slice it, the frittata will make you forget you’re eating leftovers.  Enjoy!

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2 thoughts on “Holiday leftovers reinvented

  1. Rose

    Your combinations for frittata sound delicious. It’s also a great way to cook for one or two people. Thanks for the ideas.


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