Frittata of Mushroom & Herbes de Provence
“Brunch”. I remember when that became the thing to do. It always seemed a bit out of place amidst North London’s grey skies, drizzle and semi-detached houses. For me brunch somehow seemed synonymous with late sunny mornings and eating outdoors overlooking the sea. In any case brunch became the weekend pass-time making it feel as though tea-time had moved from the afternoon to the late hours of the morning, with the addition of cooked eggs.
It is this addition of eggs that makes me a true fan of brunch though. Eggs tend to be the star of the brunch menu and for very good reason. The options are endless and always gratifying from unassuming scrambled eggs to sophisticated poached eggs and my personal favourite, the frittata.
Particularly if you are hosting a brunch, the frittata is a must. For one it can be made just before everyone arrives but more importantly one frittata will feed all your guests which leaves you free to enjoy yourself rather than stuck at the stove preparing individual portions for everyone.
The wonderful thing about frittata’s is that they are incredibly easy to make. On the surface it appears to be the same process to that of an omelet however there are a few crucial differences.
Primarily the frittata has a base of eggs and cream which forms a custard. This custard mixture is then whisked to incorporate as much air as possible in order for the frittata to rise high. The final step is to bake the frittata in the oven, either for the entirety of its cooking time or partially.
Much the same as an omelet, the choice of how to fill your frittata is abundant and very much up to you. Any choice and combination of vegetables is welcome as well as the addition of cheeses. I tend to go with what I have on hand. In this case I had a selection of mushrooms; some standard button mushrooms, portobello mushrooms and some porcini mushrooms and an aged Gouda goat cheese. My cousin who lives in the South of France sent me a package of herbes de Provence a while back which I have been addicted to, adding it to practically everything. Herbes de Provence is a beautiful medley of herbs found in Provence consisting of rosemary, marjoram, thyme, savory, basil, sage and fennel seeds. Together they combine to create a cohesive mix and one that worked impeccably well with my mushroom mix.
The ultimate pleasure in making a frittata is that moment when you pull it out of the oven and you are faced with a tall almost souffle-like frittata with a thin crisp top that when broken into crunches and collapses into a sublimely soft and creamy egg center. Cut it into wedges for an effortless way to share with everyone as breakfast blends into lunch.
Frittata of Mushroom & Herbes de Provence
• 6 eggs
• ¼ cup Greek yogurt (you can replace this with cream)
• 1 large onion sliced
• 2 garlic cloves, sliced
• ½ cup button mushrooms, sliced
• ⅓ cup porcini mushrooms (I used the dried version that is soaked in hot water prior to using)
• ½ cup potobello mushrooms
• 1 tsp herbes de Provence mix
• ½ cup grated aged Gouda goat cheese (or another mature flavoured cheese like cheddar)
1. Preheat oven to 200C / 400F / gas 5
2. Heat a 10 inch skillet with some olive oil (or butter). Add the onions and garlic and cook on a low flame until translucent. Throw in the mushrooms and the herbes de Provence. Cook until the mushrooms are cooked through.
3. Whisk together the eggs and the greek yoghurt until fully incorporated. Add them to the vegetables and cook on a medium flame until the edges are cooked and the center is soft and wobbles.
4. Sprinkle the cheese on top and place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the frittata has risen and is golden in colour
5. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 10 minutes. To remove the frittata take a large serving plate that fits over the skillet. Carefully (using oven gloves) flip the skillet over with the plate on top. Use another plate flip it back so it is the right side up.
6. Cut into wedges and serve.
* If you don’t have an oven-proof skillet or want to double the recipe, use an appropriate sized oven-proof dish to cook the fritatta fully in the oven. It should take around 30 minutes.