Frittata or Clafoutis (the s is silent)

Blueberry and strawberry clafoutis

How can you go wrong with eggs, cheese and vegetables for breakfast (or lunch or dinner)? Or fruit baked in custard for dessert?

 Frittata or clafoutis is quick to throw together, quick to cook and can be served warm, room temperature or cold, giving you plenty of freedom in meal prep. One key to success is to cook in a cast-iron pan.

French clafoutis, Italian frittata, French quiche, Russian charlotte, timbale, pudding cake, cheese souffle and even panna cotta made with gelatin. All are basically custards with fillings. Some are made with a crust; many are without. These versatile dishes make excellent pot luck offerings, for brunch, luncheon or a light dinner. 

Once you have the basic recipe down, the riffs with different fillings and seasonings are endless. You can make them savory or sweet. You can also substitute 2 egg whites for 2 of the whole eggs. When adding vegetables or potatoes, saute them in a bit of olive oil first until crisp-tender. If you choose to add meat such as sausage, cook it first. 

Savory frittata

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

Step 1: 

Savory: film a small cast-iron skillet with olive oil and put it in the oven. 

Sweet: preheat the skillet without oil, and when ready to cook, melt a tablespoon of butter and sprinkle with a tablespoon of sugar over the bottom 

Basic mixture: 

5 eggs (or any mixture of eggs and egg whites of your choice) 

1 cup of milk (or cream or ½ and ½ or buttermilk)

1 T. flour

Step 2: whisk ingredients until well blended

Step 3: add embellishments and seasonings, pour into pan and cook for about 25 minutes until a knife comes out clean. You can put it under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the top. Serve right from the pan, either warm or at room temperature. 

To make into quick breakfast grab-n-go, pour into oiled muffin cups and bake 25 minutes at 325.

Suggested savory fillings:

  • 1/2 c. sautéed onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped sauteed chard or spinach
  • 1/2 c. roasted red pepper
  • 1/2 t. basil
  • 1/4 t. dill
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • fresh pepper
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan


  • 1 c. cooked diced potatoes
  • 1/2 c. sautéed onions
  • 1/2 cup chopped sauteed chard or spinach
  • 1 T. fresh basil
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan or fontina cheese
  • 1/4 t. salt
  • fresh pepper


  • 2 medium zucchini, grated
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 c. cooked rice or leftover cooked pasta
  • ¾ c. crumbled feta
  • Dill to taste
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Suggested sweet fillings:

  • 1 c. fresh blueberries
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ t. cinnamon
  • ¼ t. almond extract


  • 1 c. grated apple
  • ¼ c. sugar
  • ¼ t. cinnamon
  • Dash nutmeg
Blueberry and strawberry clafoutis

Cheese puff (one serving)

  • 1 ½ slices whole grain bread, buttered
  • ½ c. milk
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c. shredded cheese
  • 1/8 t. onion powder
  • 1/8 t. salt
  • 6-8 drops tabasco

Cut bread into strips; place with buttered sides down along the sides and bottom of a 10-oz ramekin. Lightly beat egg and combine with other ingredients. Pour into a ramekin. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes. 

Fruit Clafouti 

A custardy delicious fresh dessert that is simple to make and delightful to serve. You can use any kind of fruit – cherries and berries are wonderful as are sliced peaches or halved plums or figs. Use whatever is in season. You can bake it a tart pan or pie plate, but a cast-iron skillet gives it a pretty browned edge. 

  • 1 T. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 c. fresh fruit, sliced and peeled if desired
  • 1 c. milk
  • ½ c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
  • ½ c. flour
  • Powdered sugar (optional)

Heat the oven to 400°F. Coat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with the melted butter and sprinkle with a bit of sugar.

Whisk milk, sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

Whisk flour into the wet ingredients, mixing until smooth (I actually use a blender to get it silky smooth). Pour the batter into the skillet and top evenly with the fruit.

Bake until a knife comes clean in the center, about 50 minutes.

Cool for about 15 minutes and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Best served warm.

Garlic Scapes

Ever wonder about those interesting curled shoots coming off the garlic plants? These are the lovely flower heads of the garlic bulbs. They are delicious and are actually a vegetable on their own as well as a mild garlic seasoning. Unlike the fiery flavor of garlic bulbs, they have a sweet flavor that is a mix of garlic, leek and onion, and a texture not unlike asparagus. 

Freshly harvested garlic scapes

Scapes grow out of the center of hardneck garlic, usually starting in early June. It’s best to harvest them when they are young, usually right before they make a huge curl, as they tend to get tough the longer they stay on the plant. 

You will be doing the garlic a favor by pinching out the scapes since leaving them on the plant reduces the size of the garlic bulb below and makes the bulbs less storable.

Garlic scapes ready to pick

Check out farmers’ markets

Scapes are available at farmers’ markets now and will probably be around a couple more weeks. They store quite well in the refrigerator so when you find them, pick up a few and give them a try. They are delicious grilled or chopped fresh for a salad, frittata or stir fry. Or, blend them into hummus or pesto, or puree them and mix into softened sweet butter for a delectable dressing for sweet corn. They are also scrumptious when pickled. 

Garlic scape, lemon verbena pesto

Garlic Scape Pesto

½ c. garlic scapes

2 c. fresh basil leaves, oregano, parsley, lemon balm or any combination you desire

¼ c. nuts (pine, walnut, pecans)

1 ½ t. salt

¼ t. pepper

½ cup olive oil

3 oz. Parmesan

Combine all ingredients except oil and cheese in blender or processor. Add half the oil. Process while adding the rest of the oil. Stir in cheese and toss with hot cooked pasta or rice. If you have plenty of scapes, consider making the pesto and freezing it in ice cube trays or flat in a freezer bag. Leave out the cheese until ready to use. You can simply break off a piece for a quick lunch. 

Garlic scape pesto ready for the freezer