After the heavy fare of winter, the milder days of spring call for meals with a lighter touch. An Italian-style omelet, a frittata, is a good choice for a light and tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner. And adding a little balsamic vinegar takes it out of the ordinary.
A frittata is an open-faced Italian omelet in which the ingredients are mixed with the eggs rather than being folded inside, as in a French omelet. And unlike French omelets, a frittata is firm and set rather than runny. French omelets are made individually - quickly, over high heat. A frittata is cooked slowly over low heat, and one frittata can feed everyone.
Eggs are not prohibited in a healthful diet and can be enjoyed in moderation. They are an inexpensive source of protein and other nutrients.
Balsamic vinegar was once available only to the leading families of the Modena and Reggio regions of Italy, who made it and shared it with a tight circle of royal friends. The name, balsamico, or balm, came from the belief that this vinegar could cure anything from colds to heart conditions.
The warm sweetness of traditional balsamic vinegar comes from a long process of cooking down freshly-pressed grape juice and then aging it in a series of casks of various woods and different sizes. The finest balsamics are aged 25 years or more, like great wines.
Once extremely expensive and hard to come by, balsamic vinegar is now available in most supermarkets. Quality, of course, varies. Vinegar labeled Acieto Balsamico Traditzionale di Modena is made the traditional way. You only need a few drops or spoonfuls for flavor, so buy the very best you can afford.
Makes 4 servings
- 2 medium red-skinned potatoes, peeled and halved
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 2 eggs plus 2 whites
- 2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- Cooking oil spray
- 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar, or to taste
- 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- Cook potatoes in water until done, about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy, non-stick skillet, stir onions to separate them into individual rings. Place pan over medium-high heat, cover tightly, and cook onions until they wilt and stew in their juices, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly colored. Transfer to large bowl and let cool slightly. Wipe out pan.
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- Drain cooked potatoes well and cut into small cubes. Add to onions.
- In a large bowl, beat together eggs and egg whites until well blended. Mix in onion-potato mixture. Mix in cheese, salt and pepper until well combined.
- Use cooking oil spray to generously coat saucepan used for onions. Set pan over medium-high heat and heat until hot. Pour in egg mixture, making sure onions and potatoes are evenly distributed in pan. As eggs set, keep lifting edges with a spatula or mixing spoon, tilting pan so any liquid flows to edges. Continue cooking over medium heat until set, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Slide frittata onto a plate. Place skillet upside down over plate. Using hot pads or mitts, hold both skillet and plate tightly together and invert so frittata is in pan, underside on top. Return to heat. Cook 3 minutes or until cooked through on bottom. Slide frittata onto a serving plate.
- Cut frittata into 8 wedges. Drizzle vinegar over top, garnish with parsley and serve.
Per Serving:156 calories
3 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat)
23 g. carbohydrate
9 g. protein
2 g. dietary fiber
404 mg. sodium
Diabetic Exchanges: 1-1/2 Bread/Starch, 1/2 Low-Fat Meat, 1/2 Fat