Master Recipe: Never-the-Same-Twice Vegetable Frittata

The Recipe: An easy-easy frittata, a protein-packed egg dish for breakfast or a light lunch or supper. Most frittatas contain little to no milk, here the eggs are mixed with lots of milk, this result is a soft and silky quiche-like custard that envelops the vegetables and pockets of warm cheese. This is one you'll make again and again!

The Conversation: I just "knew" I should love both frittatas and Donna Hay. But it took this special frittata recipe to make it happen.

Never-the-Same-Twice Frittata, a Master Recipe ♥ Silky custard + fresh or leftover veggies + pockets of warm cheese. Low Carb. Low Cal. High Protein. WW4.
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First Thing. By all rights, I should have long loved a frittata. Pronounced [free-TAH-tah], it's an Italian egg dish, endlessly variable. Think open-faced omelette or crustless quiche. Heaven knows, a frittata should be my kinda food.

But until now, I found frittatas too dense, too tough, too, I dunno – call it too eggy?

Second Thing. By all rights, I should have long loved Donna Hay too. With a magazine, cookbooks, television, branded products and more, Donna Hay is Australia's Martha Stewart. Foodwise, think fast, fresh and simple but stylish food. Heaven knows, Donna Hay's recipes should be right up my alley.

But until now, her recipes just didn't grab me.

But never say never and never give up. I like to sit with a cookbook – old, new, it doesn't seem to matter – to really study it, to absorb it, to consume it, to "get" it, to learn it. I thumb through page by page, all-the-while talking to myself. "Hmm, how would this work?" "Where in heck do you buy lemongrass?" "Oh wow, I love this idea!"

A year ago, I walked through Donna Hay's Fresh and Light. I paged and paged. At first, nothing appealed. At first, nothing synched with my fridge and my tastebuds.

And then, and then and THEN! I stopped hard at "Basic Frittata" – instantly recognizing that this recipe was different, r-e-a-l-l-y different, from other frittata recipes. It called for milk, not just a tablespoon or two but a whole cup and a half. I began to imagine a tender, delicate frittata. That minute? I moved to the kitchen.

And so this is how I've made frittatas ever since, never the same twice except for the signature texture, a soft and silky quiche-like custard that envelops vegetables and bits of cheese and quivers on the plate but still holds together.

MEMORABLE FRITTATAS So after nearly a dozen frittatas in the last year, all were excellent but some versions remain especially memorable.
ASPARAGUS FRITTATA (pictured) Great for spring, for this frittata, I sautéed thin (not fat) asparagus spears but left the tips uncooked, this made for nice texture contrast.
LEFTOVER SALAD FRITTATA Call me surprised that salad left over from the night before works so well in morning frittata, even if it's got fruit in it! If the leftover salad is "dressed," you can even skip the tablespoon of oil for sautéeing!
SPINACH FRITTATA Instead of cheese, use a little Winter Pesto that's made with spinach or cut piles of fresh spinach into ribbons before sautéing and top with grated cotija.
SALMON FRITTATA Use up bits of smoked salmon in your frittata, either hot-smoked or gravlax. Dreamy good!

ALANNA's TIPS I've had good luck with 2% milk too. But do know that the frittata is extra-delicate and doesn't really come out of the pan in nice wedges. And coconut milk? It works too! All that said, my personal preference is whole milk. Cottage cheese is such a great source of protein and it melts right into the frittata, you don't even know it's there. (That's a good thing for people with cottage cheese texture issues.) If you're using fresh vegetables, make sure they're cooked as much as you want them to be, they won't really cook anymore, even in the broiler. It helps to use soft vegetables like tomatoes or zucchini or to make the vegetable pieces really small, as if for a breakfast hash. I especially like to use slices of fresh cheese – goat cheese or fresh mozzarella – for pockets of warm, melty cheese. If there's just one dieter in the household, it's easy enough leave just one or two wedges cheese-free. During the last ten minutes, there's plenty of time to refresh the coffee, grab the newspaper from the front step, fry a little bread or make toast, cut up some fruit.


Real Food. Vegetarian. Low Cal. Low Carb. Weight Watchers Friendly. Gluten Free.
Hands-on time: 20 minutes
Time to table: 20
Serves 4
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon good mustard
  • 1-1/2 cups (350g) whole milk
  • 1/2 cup (112g) low-fat cottage cheese, optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste (don't skip, don't skimp!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil or clarified butter
  • 2 cups (or less, to taste) vegetables, either leftover cooked vegetables ~OR~ fresh chopped vegetables
  • Fresh herbs, optional
  • Salt & pepper to taste, if needed
  • Egg Mixture
  • 1/2 cup (45g) grated cheese or 4 slices cheese

Turn on the broiler, place a rack right below the broiler.

EGG MIXTURE In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, whites and mustard until completely mixed. If using, whisk in the cottage cheese. A quarter cup at a time at first, whisk in the milk. Set the Egg Mixture aside while the vegetables cook.

VEGETABLES Heat a non-stick or well-seasoned skillet on medium high, add oil and let heat until shimmery. Stir in the vegetables. If they're already cooked, just warm them through, they won't likely need any additional seasoning. If they're not yet cooked, sauté until done, be sure to season while cooking.

START ON THE STOVETOP Reduce heat to medium low, this is really important, otherwise the eggs will cook too fast and turn tough. Gently pour the Egg Mixture over the vegetables, then sprinkle the cheese on top or nestle cheese slices into the vegetables. Without stirring, let the frittata cook for 3 minutes, the edges will just be starting to round off and set a bit, a few lava-like bubbles are fine but do keep the temperature low.

FINISH UNDER THE BROILER Carefully move the skillet under the broiler and broil for 5 minutes or until the outer areas are set but the center is still a little big jiggly.

LET REST Remove from broiler and let rest for 5 minutes.

Cut the frittata into wedges and serve.

Frittata wedges refrigerate well for two or three days, they're even quite good cold!

1) Just the frittata itself, excluding the oil and vegetables which will vary from one frittata to the next, Per Serving: 179 Calories; 10g Tot Fat; 5g Sat Fat; 231mg Cholesterol; 345mg Sodium; 5g Carb; 0g Fiber; 5g Sugar; 13g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 4 & WW Points Plus 4.
2) Including 2 cups mixed vegetables, just for a quick estimate, Per Serving: 219 Calories; 14g Tot Fat; 6g Sat Fat; 231mg Cholesterol; 354mg Sodium; 7g Carb; 1g Fiber; 6g Sugar; 14g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 5 & WW Points Plus 5.
3) Including 2 cups mixed vegetables + cottage cheese, Per Serving: 237 Calories; 14g Tot Fat; 6g Sat Fat; 232mg Cholesterol; 466mg Sodium; 7g Carb; 1g Fiber; 7g Sugar; 18g Protein. WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS WW Old Points 6 & WW Points Plus 6.
Adapted from Fresh and Light by Donna Hay. DISCLOSURE Many thanks to Tracy Diamond and Harper Collins for a complimentary copy of Fresh and Light. My Disclosure Promise I watch the used-book prices on Amazon and have learned that when the going used price for a cookbook stays close to its retail price, it means people are hanging onto their copies. Time will tell, but right now the used and new prices for Fresh and Light are neck 'n' neck. A year ago, I went crazy for Donna Hay's Basic Frittata but now I've marked another couple of dozen recipes that really appeal. I sense that this is a summer-y book, some times timing is everything.

Kitchen Parade is written by second-generation food columnist Alanna Kellogg and features fresh, seasonal dishes for every-day healthful eating and occasional indulgences. Quick Suppers are Kitchen Parade favorites and feature recipes easy on the budget, the clock, the waistline and the dishwasher. Do you have a favorite egg recipe that other Kitchen Parade readers might like? Just send me a quick e-mail via How to print a Kitchen Parade recipe. Never miss a recipe! If you like this recipe, sign up for a free e-mail subscription. If you like Kitchen Parade, you're sure to like my food blog about vegetable recipes, too, A Veggie Venture. Follow Kitchen Parade on Facebook!

A Delicate, Soft & Silky Quiche-Like Custard

Never-the-Same-Twice Frittata, a new Master Recipe mixing a soft and silky quiche-like custard with fresh or leftover vegetables and pockets of warm cheese ~ Low-carb, low-cal, high-protein, Weight Watchers Points Plus 4 to 6 ~

Do you see that custard?! It's so soft and delicate! That's thanks to the large proportion of milk in this frittata recipe, very unusual.

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. But I also love hearing your reactions, your curiosity, even your concerns! When you've made a recipe, I especially love to know how it turned out, what variations you made, what you'll do differently the next time. ~ Alanna