Inspiration at the Farmer’s Market

Farmer’s Market Frittata

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

I love to share my enthusiasm for egg cookery and had a chance to do so last week, as I demonstrated Farmer’s Market Frittata to a class. The recipe was inspired by the bounty of summer produce in the markets now and the vegetables spilling out of my subscription box to a Community Supported Agriculture farm in Carnation, Washington. I made my first frittata as a teen when I started a catering business and have made many versions over the years, including a yummy pasta frittata to promote sun dried tomatoes. 

An understanding of the food science around how egg proteins bond helps cook up tasty, tender frittatas and other egg dishes.  It’s magical how the simple addition of heat transforms a liquid egg to a solid, the action of beating egg whites creates a snowy foam to make a meringue or soufflé and egg brings together a mayonnaise or silky custard. 

Adding liquid to eggs destined for a frittata, omelet or scramble in the ratio of 1 tablespoon liquid per large egg keeps the proteins from bonding too tightly and promotes tenderness – so will salt and acidic ingredients.  Too much or prolonged heat will cause the proteins to bond too tightly and force moisture out of the eggs.  Today we also have think about food safety which dictates that we cook eggs until they are completely set and no liquid egg remains.

Recently I had guests coming for Sunday brunch. To streamline my morning I sautéed the vegetables (a combination of onion, red bell pepper, mushrooms, spinach and zucchini) a day ahead and in a separate container beat the eggs and combined them with the other ingredients and chilled them.  The next day cooking the frittata was a breeze.

Nutrition Note:  Nutrient-rich, eggs are a source of high-quality protein and other nutrients.  One large egg has only 70 calories, 6 grams of protein, 10% of the Daily Value for Vitamin D along with antioxidants for eye health and choline which is important to pregnant and lactating women. The average cholesterol in a large egg has declined to about 185 milligrams. 

To reduce blood cholesterol, lowering saturated and trans fats are considered more important than dietary cholesterol today. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 one egg per day does not increase blood cholesterol levels or cardiovascular risk in healthy individuals although total daily cholesterol should be limited to 300 milligrams (mg).  People with type II diabetes or cardiovascular disease risk should limit cholesterol to 200 mg daily and eggs to 2 weekly. 

Farmer’s Market Frittata

Photo by Lorelle Del Matto

If you limit eggs to morning meals, try a frittata as a light supper, as shown in the photo, or as a picnic or lunch entrée. This recipe was adapted from a frittata recipe on

2 to 3 tablespoons olive or vegetable oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or pressed (optional)
3 1/2 to 4 cups fresh, chopped vegetables (about 1 3/4 cups cooked)*
8 large eggs
1/2 cup liquid, such as milk or tomato juice
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt 
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded cheese

Heat 10- to 11-inch nonstick skillet (with lid) over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon oil, rosemary, garlic and vegetables.  Stir and cook until vegetables are tender crisp and liquid evaporates. Remove to separate plate and cool.  (Drain on paper towels or clean dish towel if needed.)  Wipe out or clean and dry skillet if needed. With wire whisk, beat eggs, milk, flour, salt and pepper.  Stir in cooked vegetable mixture and cheese. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Pour in egg mixture; cook, reducing heat to low if needed, until eggs are almost set, about 8 to 10 minutes. Turn off heat. Cover and let stand until eggs are completely set and no visible liquid egg remains, 5 to 10 minutes. To serve, cut into wedges right from pan, slide uncut frittata topside-up onto platter, or invert frittata onto platter to show its nicely-browned bottom.  Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Variations and Tips

•Instead of fresh rosemary use fresh, chopped thyme, oregano, sage or marjoram (add with beaten eggs).  To substitute dry herbs use 1 tablespoon dried Italian herb seasoning, thyme, marjoram or oregano (add with beaten eggs). 

•Ingredients for the frittata filling should be fairly small, cooked and drained well. You can also use cooked, chopped meat, seafood or poultry cooked pasta or grains.

•Frittatas taste good cold and travel well – perfect for picnic fare or a take-along lunch.

•For fewer or more servings adjust the filling, liquid, seasonings and pan size proportionally to the number of eggs used. For 2 eggs use a 6-inch pan; for 4 eggs use a 6 to 8-inch pan; for 6 eggs use an 8-inch pan. 

•Broiler Method: Prepare frittata on the stove in a skillet with an ovenproof handle.  (To make handle ovenproof, wrap it completely in aluminum foil.) Cook on stovetop until eggs are almost set. Sprinkle with shredded cheese or bread crumbs. Broil about 6 inches from heat until eggs are completely set and no visible liquid egg remains and cheese is melted or topping is lightly browned.

Copyright © Lorelle S Del Matto 2011

lorelle About lorelle

Crazy about cooking, eating and sharing good food – my work and leisure revolve around the kitchen. As a culinary dietitian my professional life encompasses nutrition counseling and education, recipe development, product development, food and nutrition writing, marketing communications, corporate test kitchen and consumer affairs management, food styling and work as a product spokesperson.


  1. Your articles are extremely relateable. I enjoyed reading them.

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