i don’t remember if i’ve mentioned before but anyway, my husband is from the reno, nevada area and his family all lives out there currently. we fly out for either thanksgiving or christmas every year to see his family and friends (and, let’s be honest, eat better mexican food than is available in maine…).
last year when we were out there, two of his friends took us to a delicious and popular breakfast spot called two chicks. if you ever find yourself in reno, don’t miss this place. and if northern nevada isn’t on your travel itinerary, don’t worry; i’ve got you covered.
among the many tempting items on their menu, an omelet with butternut squash and sage caught my eye. now, i love this combination on pizza, but i have to admit i wasn’t quiiiite sure if it was going to play nicely with eggs. spoiler alert: it does. it totally does.
the omelet was delicious. as in, first thought: yum! second thought: why do we live so far away?! third thought: how do i recreate this at home??
answer to question 1: because the ocean is my spirit animal.
answer to question 2: with this harvest frittata!
turning an omelet into a frittata means that i get to cook once and enjoy seriously yummy lunches for days. (or, if your husband hasn’t recently announced that he doesn’t really like frittatas as a species, you could have frittata for dinner. i *used* to do that… whatever; more yumminess for me at lunch time.)
as you expect from me by now, i veered away from the original two chicks version a bit. this may sound like a terrible trade, but i replaced jack cheese with baby spinach and garlic. i made one version without garlic and it wasn’t nearly as good; it just goes so well with the squash. a handful of baby spinach adds color and, you know, a modicum of leafy green goodness.
if you want to add the cheese back in, you could obviously use monterey jack, a la two chicks, but i think an even more delicious idea would be to graft the butternut squash, sage, and goat cheese pizza right onto this frittata and use goat cheese here. goat cheese + eggs = yum and goat cheese + squash = yum so i’m pretty sure adding goat cheese to this harvest frittata would result in yum squared.
and if you wanted some melty cheese in your frittata too, monterey jack and mozzarella are both mild flavored cheeses that are good at melting so either would work here.
ok, i’m now a) starving for dinner and b) excited to be back in reno soon to eat all the tasty things see all the lovely people. i’m gonna go work on a)…
pairs well with
butternut squash, sage, and goat cheese pizza – roast a double batch of the squash and you can use a bunch of the same ingredients (squash, shallots/onions, cheese, sage) for two very different meals.
kale and wild rice salad with apples – both the frittata and this salad have a serious fall flavor slant to them, without being overlapping/tasting the same. serving this salad (with or without the rice) with the frittata would be amazing.
no-knead overnight rosemary bread – this crusty, fancy bakery style bread is surprisingly easy to make and begging to be paired with this harvest frittata.
(did i just plan my dream thanksgiving menu? maybe.)
- 1 small butternut squash (mine was about 1 ¼ pounds / 567 g.), peeled and cut into ½” (1.25 cm) dice, see notes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, sliced pole-to-pole into half moons
- 3 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 20 fresh sage leaves, divided
- 8 oz. (227 g.) (turkey) breakfast sausage, removed from casings
- 6 oz. (170 g.) baby spinach
- 12 large eggs
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) milk (dairy or unsweetened almond milk both work)
- preheat the oven to 425° F. on a rimmed baking sheet, combine the squash, oil, onion, garlic, and half of the sage leaves. toss to coat everything in the oil, then spread out in a single layer. roast for about 15 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the sharp tip of a knife easily pierces the squash. set aside and turn the oven down to 350° F.
- in a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and the milk together; set aside.
- tear or cut the remaining sage leaves into roughly ½” (1.25 cm) pieces. set aside.
- in a large (12” / 30.5 cm), oven safe, nonstick skillet, sauté the sausage over medium heat, using the edge of a spatula to crumble the sausage into pieces as it cooks. once all traces of pink are gone from the insides of the crumbles, transfer the sausage to a bowl. there should now be a little bit of grease in the pan (even with turkey sausage). set the pan back over medium heat and add the spinach. stir the spinach just until it’s all wilted.
- turn the burner up to medium-high and add the squash, sausage, and sage. stir briefly until everything is evenly combined. pour in the egg mixture and cook, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan and stir the mixture just until the spatula leaves a trail through the mixture (large curds are just beginning to form and the eggs are still wet), about 30 seconds. smooth everything into an even layer and cook undisturbed for 30 seconds. transfer the pan to the oven and bake until the surface is set (watch out for pockets of raw egg just beneath the surface!), about 6 – 14 minutes (cook’s illustrated said 6 – 9 minutes, my frittata demanded 14 minutes).
- remove from oven and let cool in pan for 2 minutes. run a clean rubber spatula around the edge of the pan to loosen the frittata. invert a large cutting board over the top of the pan and use potholders to carefully flip the whole thing upside down (as you would to release a cake layer from its pan). invert a serving platter or large plate over the frittata and turn right side up. let cool for 3 more minutes, or to room temperature, if you prefer. slice and serve either hot, warm, or room temperature, as you prefer. leftover frittata keeps very well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days and reheats nicely in the microwave.
it’s important to chop all of the ingredients (namely the butternut squash) into small pieces, otherwise the ingredients break up the egg structure in the frittata too much and it doesn’t hold together.
adapted from the harvest omelette at two chicks in reno, nevada, with some technical advice from hearty frittata (potential paywall alert!) in the november and december 2016 issue of cook’s illustrated.