Fried, boiled or raw, savoury or sweet – we Italians love egg dishes. The frittata is the all-rounder for the whole year. Try the delicious winter version with chicory. It tastes great warm and cold!
Maestro Martino and his egg dishes
Whether sugared as a dessert or with vegetables and cheese, the consumption of eggs was so widespread in Italy that even Maestro Martino devoted an entire chapter of his Liber de arte coquinaria to egg dishes. In it, the important gastrosophist of the 15th century and chef in the Roman palazzo of the Patriarch of Aquileia revealed his love for frittata with herbs such as borage, mint, marjoram and sage. And already Maestro Martino pointed out that the perfect frittata must never be turned.
The gourmet likes it simple
Pellegrino Artusi, the founder of the Italian national cuisine in the 19th century, also has advice for the egg omelette. According to the famous gourmet, you should never put the eggs directly into the pan. They are previously mixed in a bowl, and only very briefly. Yolks and egg whites should not be completely mixed. This makes the frittata rise well and become airy. An easy alternative to beating egg whites. Artusi’s frittata is also not turned. Ample oil or butter ensures that it does not burn.
From spring herbs to the king of winter
Nowadays, people tend to avoid using a lot of fat in their cooking and bake the egg dish in the oven (170° C, approx. 25 minutes). In addition to the basic ingredients of eggs and salt, there are almost no limits to your imagination when it comes to making frittata. They taste great with herbs and seasonal vegetables, cheese, fish, meat and grains such as millet. Some, of course, you need to pre-cook so that all the ingredients are ready at the same time. This is the case with red chicory, the radicchio di Treviso, which contains valuable bitter substances. It is often referred to as il re dell'inverno, the king of winter.
Egg Frittata with chicory
- olive oil
- 3 chicory, white or red or radicchio rosso precoce di Treviso
- 6 eggs
- 4 tbsp milk
- 50 g parmesan, + extra to sprinkle on top
- 20 g butter, alternatively, baking paper
- Wash, dry and quarter the chicory. Leave the main stalk on, otherwise the vegetable will break up into individual leaves. Sauté in a pan with a little olive oil or butter for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, separate the eggs and beat the whites until stiff.
- Mix the Parmesan and milk with the egg yolks. Season with salt and pepper. Fold in the egg whites. Melt the butter and cover the bottom of the baking dish with it. Pour the egg mixture into the dish and bake in the oven at 170° C.
- As soon as the surface of the egg dish begins to set, top with the chicory quarters. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan and continue baking until the frittata no longer "wobbles" when the pan is gently moved. Serve the frittata with fresh leaf lettuce and crusty bread.
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