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Turn Everything Into a Frittata

The most versatile recipe for leftovers isn’t a recipe at all

Round frittata on a plate with salad and piece of bread. Theerawan/Shutterstock

This post originally appeared in the May 25, 2020 edition of The Move, a place for Eater’s editors to reveal their recommendations and pro dining tips — sometimes thoughtful, sometimes weird, but always someone’s go-to move. Subscribe now.

I moved in with my fiance as the pandemic hit. It was a planned move during an unplanned pandemic, and while it’s generally been pretty great, we are sometimes at a loss about how to feed two people instead of just scrounging around for a lazy meal for one.

We’ve solved for this in a few ways — splitting up who makes lunch and who makes dinner, signing up for a weekly CSA delivery so we don’t have to stress so much about groceries, keeping a notebook of meals we’d replicate and ones we wouldn’t. We have not yet become “meal planners,” but we are now definitely frittata people.

Because here’s the thing: You can turn pretty much anything into a frittata. Leftover pasta: yes. Yesterday’s tahdig: check. Rutabaga gratin (remember when I mentioned that CSA?): yup. Veggies that are going limp, cheese that is on the verge of too aged, those asparagus you impulse-purchased because it’s spring but that you have no clue what to do with, the tofu you browned for tacos the other day — all of it works. Just whip a few eggs, add salt and pepper to taste, then mix in the leftovers and maybe throw in some extra tomatoes or greens or cheese, plus more salt, pepper, and any other spices you think make sense. (Plus, you can add half a loaf of bread, cubed up, and turn it into a strata — which is just a more carb-y, more filling version that ideally sits covered in the fridge overnight before baking.)

If I don’t have leftovers, I throw in greens, mushrooms, sauteed garlic, and grated cheese — in this house, we stan a super-sharp cheddar — plus some kind of roasted root vegetable. Give it a few stirs so it’s all incorporated and pour the whole thing into a pan. I use an 8-by-8-inch square and bake in my toaster oven for ~15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees, because who has time for the whole stovetop-broiler situation?

If you’re team omelet, let me be the first to acknowledge that this concept certainly isn’t novel; people have been making leftovers omelets for as long as there have been leftovers and omelets. Plus, there’s omurice, the Japanese fried rice omelet. Or restaurant dishes like the saag paneer omelet at Pondicheri that inspired the frittata I made for dinner with leftover chana saag.

But frittatas are better than omelets, because they require less time over a stove, feed multiple people more easily, and keep for longer. They reheat perfectly (five minutes at the same temperature) in the toaster oven, and can be served as-is with a little salad, some breakfast sausage, and fruit — or turned into a sandwich, adding avocado, a smear of some spicy condiment, and maybe some herbs. Next time you’re responsible for feeding yourself and another human, go for a frittata. Trust me.

P.S. Consider just eating separate meals together if that’s more your thing.