Spinach & Feta Frittata

Welcome to Cook the Books and our December/January selection,  Eat Joy: Stories & Comfort Food From 31 Celebrated Writers, edited by Natalie Eve Garrett (2019).  Deb at Kahakai Kitchen is hosting and you can read the announcement post here at Cook the Books.   We continue to need a lot of joy so this was a great selection.

Let me acknowledge at the get-go—I read the wrong book.  It was not until I was literally writing this post that I realized Eat Joy  was the chosen selection.   I had read The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes  also edited by Garrett.  I emailed Deb immediately to confess.   What to do, what to do?  Because I loved The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook so much, I decided to order Eat Joy immediately.  They’ll make good companion pieces. (Like I need another book.)

Look for a review of The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes  here tomorrow.  🙂

Now, on to the correct book and the correct review!

This is a small volume and the writings and recipes are divided into four themes:  Growing Pains, Loss, Healing, and Homecoming.    I recognized few authors here (to my embarrassment).  The only contributors I’ve read were Anthony Doerr and Jessica Soffer.

The first essay that resonated with me was “Comfort with Eggs” by Laura Van Den Berg.  I was drawn to it just because, I mean, eggs are comforting.

Van Den Berg was anorexic as a teenager and had a difficult time seeing eggs as more than “seventy-five calories.”  She’s also a self-admitted non-cooker.  As she moves home as an adult to help her mom recover from knee surgery, she’s reminded of a frittata a friend made upon learning her father had had a stroke.   Van Den Berg remembers an “adult goal” she had written years before:  “learn to offer sustenance to yourself and others in a time of crisis or really any time” (10).     She connects with the unconditional love that can be conveyed in cooking and sharing meals as she looks at her mother and husband enjoying this simple dish.  Here’s a slightly adapted version of what she made.

Spinach & Feta Frittata

I had to make some changes due to the ingredients I had on hand.

Ingredients

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 5 oz. baby spinach
  • 1/3 c. jarred roasted red pepper, chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • 3/4 c. water
  • 1/2 c. crumbled feta plus more for sprinkling on top

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Heat olive oil in a medium sized oven-proof skillet. Sauté green onions for 4 minutes. Add spinach and sauté for about 2-4 minutes more or until spinach wilts. Add red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat.

    Love the colors.

  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and the water.  Add 1/2 cup of crumbled feta.  Pour egg mixture into the skillet with the spinach, onions and red pepper.  Sprinkle a bit more feta on top.  Grind some more fresh pepper on top as well.
  4. Carefully place in oven and cook for 15-20 minutes or until set.  Remove from oven.  Carefully take a spatula and run it around the edges.  (This will just aid in removing the slices from the pan.)  Cut into wedges and serve.

Yield: 4-6

Look at those spinach layers.

This frittata made a delicious breakfast for us with enough left over for dinner with salad and bread.  I really like this simple yet versatile recipe.  As I was eating it, I thought “Why didn’t I add those sliced black olives that were in the fridge?”  This got me to thinking about all the other ingredients that would be delicious to include:  marinated artichokes, halved cherry tomatoes, a bit of oregano….

I do want to revisit Van Den Berg’s statement:  “learn to offer sustenance to yourself and others in a time of crisis or really any time.”   Not being able to cook for others is a hard thing.   I used to whip up muffins and cookies and take to work.   I used to enjoy whipping up meals for the extended family during holidays.  I would peruse through magazines and rip out recipes to make for our next get-together.   In this time of crisis, I want to share food and have loved ones at my table.

I guess I will keep this frittata recipe until the next family brunch.  Until then, I will experiment with ingredients.

Thanks, Deb, for recommending this book.  I enjoyed it (but maybe not as much as The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook),

I’m linking up with Foodies Read.

Here are some of the other stories and recipes that I was drawn to or affected by from Eat Joy:

  • Rosie Schaap’s “Friends, Grief and Green Chilies” (Santa Fe Seder Brisket)
  • Don Lee’s “Sack Lunch” (I think all of us of a certain age can commiserate with eating meals with a can of Cambell’s soup as the base.)
  • The writings from “Healing” were just devastating or disturbing (Raboteau’s refusal to care for her stepmother, Thier’s addictions, Satyal’s bullying….)
  • Jessica Soffer’s Steamed Japanese Sweet Potato Bowl (117) reminded me of some of the things I’ve whipped up in the kitchen for pandemic meals.

 

Check out tomorrow’s post for a recipe and review of The Artists’ and Writers’ Cookbook: A Collection of Stories with Recipes.

For the February / March edition of Cook the Books, Claudia (Honey from Rock) is hosting Where I Come From: Life Lessons from a Latino Chef by Aaron Sanchez (published October 2019).  Join us!

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