I recently had occassion to make a frittata. We were doing a tasting of Alsatian Pinots with the French Winophiles, with some beautiful samples provided by @AlsaceWines. When I searched for a pairing to go with the Emile Beyer Pinot Blanc, a suggestion of eggs and spring vegetables came up. I settled on a pairing of a spring green salad and a spring vegetable frittata.
So what is a frittata? It is an Italian egg dish. The name loosely translates to “fried”. Kind of like an omlette, it is a great way to use up leftovers. You can create a frittata with almost anything. Use up vegetables, rice, pasta, cheese, meats….you name it. A frittata ideally cooks in a rod iron skillet and the size of the skillet and number of eggs is the key. Typically you are looking at a ratio of 1 cup of cheese, 2 cups of filling, 6 eggs and 1/4 cup of milk or…go for it, heavy cream. Whole milk and richer creme will make a more unctuous frittata with a thick creamy texture. And the number of eggs? Use a full dozen for a 10 inch skillet. And make sure your pan is well seasoned.
Why rod iron? It heats evenly and you are starting this on the stove and finishing in the oven.
I wanted a light spring vegetable frittata. Something bright to pair with the Pinot Blanc. I dug around in the fridge and freezer and here is what I put together.
Spring Vegetable Frittata
- 1/2 cup broccoli
- 1/2 cup peas
- 1/2 cup green beans
- (my broccoli and peas were frozen and my beans were fresh)
- 2 golden beets
- 3 radishes
- 1/3 zucchini
- 1/2 teaspoon Allium Allure spice blend from Spicy Camel Trading Company (or use a seasoning blend that you like)
- 11 eggs
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup ricotta
- 1/4 cup red onions
First I got the oven heating to 400 degrees.
Then I needed to cook the broccoli, peas and beans. Just blanching them and quickly cooling them with cold water (I was too lazy to do an ice bath). The beans were cut into 3/4 inch pieces (on the diagonal to make them pretty) and I chopped the broccoli into smaller pieces when it was cooked. It’s important to cook your vegetables first so they don’t let go of all their moisture in your frittata and make it soupy.
I then diced the beets, radishes and zucchini and sautéed them in olive oil with a little Allium Allure spice blend from my friends at Spicy Camel Trading Company. (I’m adding the link ’cause you really should get to know their spice blends! Amazing blends, handcrafted…and really nice people too). Allium Allure is all that onion goodness Onion, Shallots, Roasted Garlic, Leeks, Chives and Green Onions. I tossed in a little salt and pepper (Spicy Camel does not add salt to their spice blends). Radishes are great this way. It tones downs their spiciness and gives them a sweetness. You could also toss all of this in the oven to roast if you wanted. I was hungry so a sauté seemed quicker.
Now, on to the frittata!
I lightly whisked my 11 eggs (yes I went 1 short of a dozen on this). I say lightly whisked. You want the yolks to be incorporated but you don’t want to get too much air in the mixture, as that will cause the final texture of your frittata to be light, but dry.
I added my milk. I just used whole milk and with the ricotta, it may have been redundant, but the final product came out perfect, so I’m stickin’ with it. I folded in my ricotta so it would break up a little, but still have chunks that would create pockets of creaminess in the finished frittata. Then it’s all the rest, the broccoli, peas, beans as well as the sautéed vegetables, a little salt and pepper and some fresh dill.
I got out my rod iron skillet and started a little olive oil and butter melting in the bottom, then tossed in my red onions to get a beautiful base going.
Once the onions were soft and translucent, I added the egg mixture. This cooks over medium until the edges begin to pull away from the sides of the pan.
Then toss it in the oven at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes. You want to be sure it is set, but not overcooked! Poke the center with a knife and if egg is still flowing, it’s not quite ready. When it is ready, pull it out and serve it immediately…OR…you can cut this and store it in the fridge, it is delicious cold!
We served our frittata with a salad of spring greens topped with some more of those golden beets and radishes that I quick pickled in honey and white wine vinegar while the frittata cooked and some pine nuts.
This did make quite a big frittata for Michael and I. (8 nice sized slices). I enjoyed cold frittata happily for lunch for a good part of the week.
We did need an appetizer to go with this while we waited for the frittata to finish in the oven and we went with fresh peaches (these were still firm) sliced, with a dollop of goat cheese a leaf of basil and then wrapped in prosciutto. This was pretty perfect with the wine that was so bright. The peaches were crisp and picked up on the notes of slightly unripe stone fruit in the wine.
This Emile Beyer Pinot Blanc Tradition is made in the picturesque village of Eguisheim, just outside of Colmar. The family estate is now run by Christian Beyer who is 14th generation in the family business.
The wine comes from younger vineyards, and the grapes are pressed pneumatically to gently get those juices to drip from the skins. It’s a slow fermentation and they age the wine on the fine lees for several months.
The soil of these vineyards are made of Chalky marl, sandstone and clay.
It is not 100% Pinot Blanc, they do add some Auxerrois. What is Auxerrois you ask (I asked that too, it was a variety I was not familiar with). This grape is grown mostly in Alsace and it adds weight and body to the wine. If you want to know more, there is a great article on called Auxerrois: A Lesson from Alsace on Wine’s Acidity
This is a beautiful fresh wine for spring time or any time of year when you want to channel a little spring time. And…Suggested retail price is $15. So run out and find a bottle!
Give this frittata a try, or come up with your own combination and let us know how it goes! Oh, and don’t forget to let us know what wine you choose to pair with it!
You can check out all of our Pinot Pairings from Alsace in our piece A Palette of Pinots; the hues of Alsace