There is a common belief that egg dishes are meant for breakfast only – this couldn’t be farther from the truth. They are an excellent source of protein, cook in a matter of minutes, and pair beautifully with any possibly meal you can imagine. Perfect example: the ever-versatile frittata. Essentially a giant omelet, the add-in opportunities for this dish can be endless: vegetables, meats, cheeses, herbs, etc. I wanted a dish full of color, so I decided to make a Spinach and Bell Pepper Frittata.
Frittata is derived from the Italian term “fritto,” which means anything that is fried. Originally used to describe any type of egg dish that is cooked in a skillet (like omelettes), the term frittata has evolved over the past five decades to represent the dish we are familiar with today.* Unlike an omelette, it is served in individual pieces or slices, and is “open-faced” rather than folded over. Fun fact: there is a very similar dish to the frittata in Persian cuisine called the Kookoo (which is a cool name, so I had to share it).
So frittatas are meant to be fried in a skillet…you can clearly tell from the photo that I didn’t fry this, much less even use a skillet (except for sautéing the vegetables). The “traditional” way is to cook the eggs in a large skillet, then invert the frittata onto a plate and slide it back into the pan to cook on the other side (or flipped entirely, if it isn’t too large). I DO own a cast iron skillet, so this could’ve been an option. A simpler but still somewhat traditional way is to put the eggs in the oven for the last 3 to 4 minutes of cooking underneath the broiler. My scenario: I was going to a cookout, and didn’t want to worry about slicing and storing and carrying this dish all the way across town. The solution was to bake the entire custard in a Pyrex 9×11 baking dish. I imagine the Italian recipe gods deplore this, but blame my need for an easy, last-minute dish that still could pack a TON of flavor. Regardless of method, this is an awesome dish and super easy to prepare – I modified it from a Gourmet recipe I found a while black. Click HERE to see my detour from the traditional frittata.
Since I took a culinary detour, why not a musical one? That thought led me instantly to my piece of choice: Julie-O, by Mark Summer. I was introduced to it this past April at a school event, and it’s a cool little piece! Julie-O has become quite popular amongst cellists, and is ideal as an encore or within educational contexts. The work incorporates “non-traditional” techniques, like slapping the string board and left hand pizzicatos, to give it that “jazzy” feel. It also is quite short (under 3 minutes) yet still extremely colorful – “a lot of flavor in a short amount of time.” I’ve included a recording by the composer himself from the Perth international Arts Festival (sorry for the image quality, but such is my beef with YouTube). Though the original version is great, I had to include this second recording to push the “traditional” envelope one step further – this is by Kevin Olusola, who incorporates beatboxing into the piece (and just also happens to be a FANTASTIC cellist).