Potato and onion frittata with gruyère and thyme

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Potato and onion frittata with gruyère and thyme


Frittata is a thick Italian omelette that can be made with a variety of different cheeses, vegetables and herbs. It’s a great way of using up leftover cooked potatoes, and is equally delicious served hot straight from the pan for breakfast or at room temperature for a picnic.

300g (11oz) (about 1 large or 2 small) waxy potatoes, peeled (and halved if large)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, peeled and sliced

8 eggs

50g (2oz) Gruyère cheese, finely grated

110ml (4fl oz) single or regular cream

1 tbsp thyme leaves

Bunch of spring onions, sliced

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas mark 4.

2 Place the potatoes in a large saucepan, cover with water and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to the boil and cook for 20–25 minutes or until tender. Drain the potatoes well and return to the pan on a very low heat to dry out for a minute or so. Remove from the heat, tip out onto a plate to cool a little and roughly dice.

3 Meanwhile, pour half the olive oil into the ovenproof frying pan on a gentle heat. Add the onion, cover with a lid and cook gently for 6–8 minutes, stirring regularly, until soft and slightly golden. Remove from the pan, spread out on a large plate and set aside to cool a little.

4 Next, whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then add the remaining ingredients and the cooked onions and potatoes, season with salt and pepper and gently stir together.

5 Place the remaining olive oil in the ovenproof pan and pour in the egg mixture, stirring briefly to distribute the ingredients evenly. Cook on a gentle heat for a few minutes until the mixture begins to set on the bottom, then bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes or until the mixture is set in the centre.

6 Remove the pan from the oven and allow the frittata to cool for a couple of minutes before sliding it onto a large serving plate. Cut into wedges to serve.

Weekend fry-up


Not something for breakfast every morning, of course, but there are times when this is just what you need to keep you going for the rest of the day. A fry-up is great when friends are staying – simply multiply the ingredients given below by however many people you are feeding. Source the best local ingredients you can and follow up with a big walk. If you prefer your eggs boiled or poached.

Vegetable, sunflower or olive oil, for frying

2 sausages

2 rashers of thick, dry-cured, smoked or unsmoked, back or streaky bacon, rind removed

2–3 slices of black and/or white pudding

Butter, for frying and spreading on toast

50g (2oz) button mushrooms, sliced, or 1 large flat mushroom, any stalk removed

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 ripe tomato, halved

Pinch of caster sugar (if roasting the tomato in the oven)

1–2 eggs

1 tbsp milk (for scrambled eggs)

2 slices of white or brown bread

1 Add 1 tablespoon of oil to a large frying pan on a medium heat and begin by frying the sausages. Cook gently for 10–15 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Add the bacon rashers to the same pan with the sausages and fry for 3–4 minutes on each side or until crisp and golden, dabbing off any milky liquid with kitchen paper. Add the black and/or white pudding slices to the pan and fry for 2–3 minutes on each side or until beginning to crisp and the white pudding (if using) turns golden. Remove the sausages, bacon and pudding slices from the pan and drain on kitchen paper. Place in an ovenproof dish and keep warm in a low oven if necessary.

2 Meanwhile, add a dash of oil and knob of butter to another frying pan on a medium heat, and sauté the mushrooms for 3–4 minutes or until softened and turning golden. Season with salt and pepper, then remove from the pan and keep warm (adding to the dish with the cooked sausages and bacon). If cooking a large flat mushroom, then add the oil and butter to the pan and fry the mushrooms for 8–10 minutes, turning halfway through, until softened and browned.

3 Season the cut side of the tomato halves and drizzle over 1 tablespoon of oil. Gently fry them, cut side down first, for 2–3 minutes, then turn over and fry for a further 2–3 minutes or until just softened.

4 Alternatively, cook the large flat mushroom and/or the tomatoes in the oven. Preheat the oven to 200°C (400°F), Gas mark 6. Drizzle 2 teaspoons of olive oil or add a knob of butter over the mushroom and season with salt and pepper before roasting for 12–15 minutes until tender. Put a knob of butter on the cut side of each tomato half, add the sugar and season with a little salt and pepper before roasting for 12–15 minutes or until softened. If using the oven, begin roasting the mushroom and tomatoes a few minutes before frying the sausages and bacon. Once cooked, reduce the oven temperature to low for keeping everything warm as it is cooked.

5 To fry an egg, melt a knob of butter in a small, clean frying pan on a low heat. Carefully crack the egg into the pan and allow to fry gently. For an over-easy egg, fry for 1–2 minutes until beginning to set, then flip over with a fish slice and fry for a further 1–2 minutes. If you prefer your egg sunny side up, then fry gently for 4–5 minutes until the yolk has filmed over. Remove from the pan and serve immediately with the other cooked ingredients.

6 For scrambled egg, follow the method for Basic Scrambled Eggs. Serve at once with the other cooked ingredients.

7 While the egg is cooking, put the slices of bread in a toaster or under a preheated grill and toast for a few minutes (and on both sides, if using the grill) until golden. Butter the toast and cut the slices in half.

8 To serve, arrange everything on a warm serving plate, with the hot buttered toast on the side and with some tomato ketchup or relish.


Fried bananas: We sometimes like to add a fried banana to a full breakfast. It goes particularly well with bacon. Allowing 1 small banana per person, peel and cut in half across and then halve lengthways to give four pieces. Melt a knob of butter in a small frying pan on a medium heat and fry the banana pieces for 2–3 minutes on each side until softened and turning golden.

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