I almost picked up some sort of prepared food on my way home, because we didn’t have a lot of time; we had another event to go to in the evening, and I would only have about an hour and a half at home. I knew we had a solitary squash, most of an onion, a tomato, a green pepper… and then I remembered that we had a lot of eggs.
K loves his meat, but we manage a meatless meal at least once a week. (As the Washington Post pointed out, going vegetarian is also good for the environment.) I turned on the radio and started reducing vegetables to small dice. Fritattas are easy; I was sure it would take less than 30 minutes to make.
Apparently I’d never actually bothered to time the ordeal before. Reducing two potatoes, one large squash, one wilted green pepper, and the better part of an onion to small dice took half an hour all by itself. Oh, and mincing two cloves of garlic. I’m no professional and I’ve never gone to culinary school; my knifework takes time. At least, with the radio on, I wasn’t bored.
I used my mom’s time-saver for cooking potatoes; once they were diced, I tossed them with olive oil and stuck them in the microwave for a minute or two. Potatoes always seem to take forever to soften on the stovetop, so the microwave really hurries things up a little. The onions went into olive oil and a pat of butter; once they were soft, I followed up with the garlic, then the squash and green pepper. The cooked potatoes joined them once everything was soft. Then I scrambled some eggs with milk, added shredded cheese, and poured it into the pan —
— and realized that I’d used a nonstick pan, which couldn’t go in the oven. Fine, not a frittata; it would be a scramble. K came home just as the eggs finished cooking, and I served it with sliced ripe tomato sprinkled with coarse salt, pepper, and basil chiffonade. Total time: 45 minutes. Dishes from prep: two knives, one cutting board, one pan.
All right, Rachael Ray has me beat by a solid 15 minutes. But it made a decent dinner, cleanup was easy, and there was plenty left to pack for lunch the next day. Frittatas (or scrambles) are a tried and true way to use up random vegetables, and emptied our produce drawer just in time for tomorrow’s CSA pickup.