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A Frittata for the Dropper-Inners

September 10, 1997|BETTY ROSBOTTOM | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES; Rosbottom is the author of "American Favorites" (Chapters Publishing, 1996)

A frittata, as many know, is an Italian omelet that typically has its ingredients mixed with the eggs rather than added as a separate filling. Frittatas are cooked over low heat until firm and often finished under the broiler. They are wonderful warm or cold for breakfast, lunch or supper.

Because they can be cooked ahead and served at room temperature, they are perfect for entertaining guests who are passing through, particularly if you don't know when they are going to arrive or how long they can stay.

This frittata made with caramelized onions, Cheddar cheese and tomatoes is delicious served at room temperature on a bed of arugula salad. Add a dessert of sliced fresh peaches and raspberries and a plate of chocolate Florentine cookies and you have a delicious luncheon menu.



3 tablespoons butter

4 cups thinly sliced onions

Scant 1/4 teaspoon sugar

6 eggs

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese

1 cup diced tomatoes

3 teaspoons chopped rosemary

3 teaspoons chopped chives

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

Several grinds black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups arugula leaves, cleaned and dried (1 to 2 bunches)


Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in heavy oven-proof 9-inch skillet over medium heat. When hot, add onions and sprinkle with sugar. Cook over medium heat, stirring, until onions are light golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes or longer. When caramelized, remove onions to plate to cool slightly. Wipe remaining onion bits from skillet but do not clean.

Whisk eggs in large bowl. Stir in onions, cheese, tomatoes, 2 teaspoons rosemary, 2 teaspoons chives, salt and pepper and mix well.

Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons butter over medium-high heat in skillet in which onions were cooked. When hot, pour in egg mixture. When mixture starts to bubble slightly around edges, about 2 minutes, reduce heat to medium and cook frittata until edges are set but middle is still slightly creamy, 12 to 14 minutes or longer. As frittata cooks, occasionally run spatula around edges of pan to loosen. Place skillet under broiler to set top and brown slightly, 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Do not let top burn.

Remove frittata from oven. Using flexible spatula, carefully loosen sides and as much of bottom as you can reach, being careful not to break frittata. Invert frittata onto baking sheet, then invert again onto serving platter. Sprinkle with remaining 1 teaspoon rosemary and 1 teaspoon chives.

Cut frittata into 8 wedges. Arrange 2 wedges on each of 4 plates. Garnish with Arugula Salad.


Whisk together vinegar, salt and pepper in salad bowl. Whisk in olive oil. Add arugula and toss well.

4 servings. Each serving:

425 calories; 815 mg sodium; 372 mg cholesterol; 33 grams fat; 15 grams carbohydrates; 19 grams protein; 1.17 grams fiber.

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