Frittata with Purple Sprouting Broccoli and Spinach
A frittata or omelette makes a super speedy and nutritious lunch or supper dish, especially when you add some healthy veggies such as broccoli and spinach. At this time of year in Italian Ortos the purple sprouting broccoli is ready to pick. Broccoli (which comes from the Itallian word brocco meaning branch or arm) was initially cultivated by the Romans. Broccoli has been grown in the UK and the US since the early 18th century, although the purple sprouting variety has only recently been popular. The plant produces lots of little heads of broccoli rather than one large one which you maybe more used to and the slender, fine stalks should be chopped and eaten too. Of course, if you don’t have access to purple sprouting, then normal broccoli is fine.
The Italian frittata is versatile, in that it can be eaten warm or cold and one can change the ingredients to suit you or to suit what is in your fridge or veggie plot. My Le Marche friends and neighbours give me plenty of organic, free range eggs so this is a lunchtime staple for us.
Broccoli and in particular sprouting broccoli is a super food and is rich in iron, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur.
Fresh Broccoli is a storehouse of many phyto-nutrients such as thiocyanates, indoles, sulforaphane, isothiocyanates and flavonoids like beta-carotene cryptoxanthin, lutein, and zea-xanthin. Studies have shown that these compounds by modifying positive signaling at molecular receptor levels help protect from prostate, colon, urinary bladder, pancreatic, and breast cancers.Further, it contains very good amounts of another anti-oxidant vitamin, vitamin-A. 100 g fresh head provides 623 IU or 21 % of recommended daily levels. Together with other pro-vitamins like beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and zea-xanthin, vitamin A helps maintain integrity of skin and mucus membranes. Vitamin A is essential for healthy eye-sight and helps prevent from macular degeneration of the retina in the elderly population.
- 5 or 6 eggs
- A couple of garlic cloves, chopped finely
- A glug of extra virgin olive oil
- Handful of purple sprouting broccoli
- Handful of spinach leaves
- Grated parmigiano and pecorino cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Handful of frozen prawns (optional)
- Prepare the broccoli by finely chopping the stalks and steaming the stalks and the florets briefly.
- Roughly chop the spinach and the garlic.
- Gently heat the oil in an omelette pan and saute the garlic and the spinach.
- Whisk the eggs with some salt, pepper and grated cheese to taste.
- Pour the eggs over the spinach and garlic , then add the broccoli.
- Put a lid on the pan and cook over a very low hob for about 15 minutes, until the eggs have set.
- Do not turn over.
- Take off the heat and leave for a few minutes before removing from the pan.