- 1 T EVOO
- ½ yellow onion
- ½ c dry lentils
- 8 oz broccoli florets
- 6 oz cherry tomatoes
- 2 c egg beaters
- 3 T water
- Pinch of salt
- 10 grinds fresh black pepper (~1/2 tsp)
- 2 tsp dried parsley flakes
- 1 tsp dried tarragon flakes
- Pour the EVOO into a 10” cast-iron skillet. Use a paper towel to wipe the EVOO evenly over the base and up the sides of the skillet.
- Cut the onion into slices. Break apart the rings, and put them into the skillet.
- Put the skillet into a cold (unheated) oven. Set the oven for 400 degrees (F), and cook for 25 minutes.
- Put the lentils in a large pot with 2 c cold water, then bring the water to a boil. Once boiling, put a lid on the pot and reduce the heat to very low, and simmer the lentils for 25 minutes.
- While the lentils are simmering, cut the broccoli into small (bite-sized) pieces, and cut the cherry tomatoes into halves (or quarters if the tomatoes are very large). Set both aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together the egg beaters, water, salt, pepper, parsley, and tarragon. Set aside.
- When the lentils are done cooking, add the broccoli to the pot, return the water to a boil, and cook for 1 minute.
- Drain the lentils and broccoli (use a colander), then stir them into the onions. (Use a hot mitt; the cast iron skillet will be very hot.) Then add the tomatoes, and gently stir to combine.
- Pour the egg mixture evenly over the vegetables. Reduce the oven to 375 degrees (F). Put the skillet back in the oven, and bake for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, use a spatula to push the egg mixture from the outer edges into the center of the dish, so that the raw eggs in the center of the skillet flow to the outer edges. Return the skillet to the oven, and bake for 20 more minutes.
- Remove the frittata from the oven, and let stand for 10 minutes. Then cut into slices, and serve warm.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Nutritional information per serving for 4 servings (approximates): 160 calories, 3.5 g fat,
18 g carbohydrate, 6.5 g fiber, 5.5 g sugar, 18.5 g protein.
Nutritional information per serving for 6 servings (approximates): 105 calories, 2.5 g fat,
12 g carbohydrate, 4.5 g fiber, 3.5 g sugar, 12.5 g protein.
Here’s a little picture step-by-step through the recipe-creation process. This recipe isn’t super-complicated to make; but sometimes it’s just fun to provide additional pictures. Maybe it makes me feel like I’m hosting a cooking show or something… :)
Mental Cost (ingredient availability): Very low
Financial Cost (ingredient cost): Low
Emotional Cost (cooking skill level): Medium
Time Cost (recipe preparation): Medium-high
Life Cost (clean up time/effort): Medium-ish
Worth It? (rate from 1-5): 3.82.
The Bottom Line: Will I make this recipe again?
As I was deciding what recipe to make this week, one of my blogging friends asked if I had used my cast iron skillet recently. I confessed that I hadn’t used it since I made my first frittata – for which I had specifically purchased the pan. So I guess it was time to make another frittata. ;)
I have several frittata recipes on hand, all just waiting to be explored; but I chose this specific one because it called for lentils – an ingredient I have been curious about for quite some time, but have been a little hesitant to actually try to make. For some reason, I thought cooking lentils would yield similar results to my efforts at cooking brown rice or polenta – never quite right, always a little loose, a little mushy, a little ‘off’.
But a bag of lentils is only $1 at the grocery store, so hey, why not try them? I doubted they could be any worse than last week’s cabbage stew debacle.
So I made the recipe – and I was delighted to learn that lentils are actually super-easy to make! I also learned I like the ‘toothiness’ of their texture, and the chewiness of their bulk; they rounded out the frittata quite beautifully.
However, lentils taste pretty bland; I now understand why I’ve previously only seen them in curry dishes. Lentils don’t taste ‘bad’ – just dull. As a result, the frittata tasted pretty ‘earthy’ because of the lentil presence. I adore that the frittata has a bounty of terrific veggies in it, and is very high in protein and fiber, too; but it’s lacking a good ‘oomph’ of taste.
So, if I were to make this recipe again, I would probably double the amount of onion used, and I would likely add a healthy dose of garlic to the dish as well. I might even go a little crazy and add some red pepper flakes, or something else to give the recipe a little more ‘zing’.
This recipe also took more time and effort than I would ordinarily like. I’m okay with the time piece, since the bulk of it was ‘hands-off’/in-the-oven time; but the use of multiple pots and pans to clean was kind of a downer.
Still, if I were able to improve the flavor profile a bit, I’d be willing to invest the increased time in cooking, and the increased effort in clean-up, for this hearty, filling, healthy meal.
And either way, lentils are no longer a mystery to me. I might even see a lentil curry in my future…