Ok. Maybe “Jewel Frittata” is the most pompous post title I’ve ever written.
Who have I become?
But let me explain. If you kind of squint, or if you just have terrible vision, farmer’s markets and produce aisles kind of look like piles of jewels this time of year.
The good news is that as the produce jewels get prettier, they also tend to get cheaper because farmers don’t have to figure out how to make a tomato taste decent in December. It’s a lot easier to get it to you tasting like a tomato in the middle of summer.
Recently I saw these little cherry heirloom tomatoes and I knew I wanted to either eat them immediately or bake them into this cherry tomato frittata.
1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Half cherry tomatoes and toss them with olive oil and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Lay the tomatoes out on a baking sheet, cut-side up and roast them for 25-30 minutes.
2) Whisk the eggs and milk together in a medium bowl.
3) When tomatoes are almost done roasting, add butter to your cast iron skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add sliced onions and a small pinch of salt and cook for a few minutes until onions are soft.
4) Add green chiles and cook for a minute or two in the cast iron skillet.
5) When tomatoes are done, add half of your grated cheese to the skillet and immediately pour in your eggs. Then add your cherry tomatoes evenly distributed and the rest of the cheese on top. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
6) Bake the frittata for 14-16 minutes until the center is just set and the eggs are puffed.
7) When done, garnish frittata with slivered basil, slice, and serve!
Cherry Tomato Frittata
Besides the tomatoes, I kept the filling pretty simple. I wanted some onion and some heat. For the heat, I just used canned green chiles. They typically come in four ounce cans and you can safely toss in a whole can of the mild ones.
Cheese is essential and a good sharp cheddar works really well in the cherry tomato frittata.
Instead of using whole tomatoes for this dish (which could water down the frittata if you don’t drain them correctly), I went with these little jewel heirloom cherry tomatoes.
I just sliced them in half, tossed them with a few tablespoons of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and roasted them at 350 degrees F. for about 30 minutes. While you are roasting them, place them with the cut-side UP so more of the liquid will evaporate.
You want to burn off as much of the juice as possible so the flavors concentrate and you don’t end up with a watery frittata.
Cooking the Frittata
While the tomatoes roast, whisk together the eggs and milk in a medium bowl.
The frittata itself cooks from start to finish in a cast iron skillet. If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, do the first steps in any skillet you have and then transfer everything to a buttered 8×8 baking dish.
Assuming you do have a CI skillet though, add some butter to it over medium heat and then add the onions and green chiles. Cook until the onions are soft, but not browned, and most of the chile liquid is evaporated.
Make sure the onions and chiles are evenly distributed over the pan and then add half of the cheese.
Then pour in your egg mixture!
Once the eggs are in, divide your roasted tomatoes in the skillet. Try to get them somewhat evenly spaced but don’t be OCD about it.
Sprinkle the last of your cheese on top also and season it with salt and pepper.
Bake this whole thing in a 375 degree oven until the eggs are puffed for 14-16 minutes. The eggs should puff nicely and be cooked in the center.
If you don’t have a skillet and are cooking this in a baking dish, you’ll probably have to add 5-6 minutes onto the baking time because the pan won’t be hot to start.
Once the frittata comes out, sprinkle some fresh basil over the top, slice it up, and chow down.
You could do worse than make this as soon as possible.