Sunday, October 2, 2011

Fall Frittata

Welcome to another recipe swap! Some amazing bloggers do this every month; we take a vintage recipe for inspiration and create our own versions of it. We are a big group this month, so be sure to check out all of our posts below. (For the history of the Recipe Swap and list of participants, click here.) The recipe: "Hot Slaw." What it became in my kitchen is a perfect story of my state of being right now; inventing, uncertain, and a little anxious.

One requirement of living in New York is having a weekend retreat upstate somewhere. (It's true. It's in the "welcome to New York City, Sucker" resident manual.) As a result, when I lived there, I spent a lot of time in upstate Connecticut in a small idyllic lakeside cabin, grasping at decompression from the weight of city life in 48-hour intervals. It was there I became fascinated with how lakes act as telltales to the change of seasons.

Watching it in the fall was like watching Mother Nature put a fussy baby down for a nap; the lake didn't go to sleep quietly. Winds kicked up the surface, bullied wildlife, and changed moods. The change of colors became a tantrum as nature threw the last of its dying leaves on the ground. We never knew which dive off the dock would be our season's last. The still waters ran spitefully deep, and sometimes without warning, overnight, they ran really fucking cold.

This and every fall, I feel a little anxious for what is to come, I suppose. The surprises are less shocking than on the east coast, but in Southern California, the clues to the change of season are revealed by what is on the tables at the farmer's market. The apples are early this year.

Regardless of our locations, (our recipe swap group has grown to a worldwide cadre of fantastic bloggers) fall is a time to slow down, look inward and prepare for winter. Some of us celebrate the new year with Rosh Hashanah, which brings with it a lot of work in preparation for a seasonal and spiritual renewal. The actions we ignored for a year come back to the surface and we are asked to not only process them, but take responsibility for them. For lakes, this time is known as the final chance to punk the person confidently cannonballing off the dock with a shock of cold water, or by wrapping some mud-slime thing around their swim trunks on the way back up. Actually, that's how reassessing my behaviors of the past year has felt this time around. For the rest of us, it is a time to cozy up, settle in, and eat well.

From the original vintage "Hot Slaw" recipe came a shallot, cabbage and apple frittata; a mild, easy dish to ease our ways into cool fall mornings, perfect for a light brunch with family and friends. Happy Fall, and Happy New Year!

Fall Frittata

Serves: 6

8 large farm eggs
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp agave nectar (or 1/2 tsp honey)
1/4 cup shredded cabbage
3 large cloves shallot, sliced
1/2 cup grated tart apple (I used Pippins, but Galas or Granny Smiths would work great)
3 Tbsp crumbled goat cheese
2 Tbsp chopped dill
1/2 tart apple, sliced very thinly and held in water with a dash of lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil for sauteing 

Preheat oven to 375F.
In a 9" heat-safe saute pan on medium heat, pour 2 tsp olive oil. Add shallots, cabbage and apple and saute until the cabbage turns bright green. In a separate bowl, add eggs, cream, agave nectar, a good pinch of salt and a few cracks of pepper and whisk thoroughly. Add contents to saute pan and top with goat cheese and dill. Place into oven for ten minutes. Remove from oven, tap the center to confirm the frittata is set (it should spring back), and turn the oven to broil. Place apple slices and cheddar cheese on top of the frittata and broil for two minutes or until bubbly and golden. Let cool for a couple minutes before slicing and serving with greens on the side and fresh bread and butter.


  1. I LOVE this. It feels like fall in the read. Fall feels like a relief from summer to me and just reading this passage makes me all the more anxious for the full set in of the season. I would not have thought to sexify this 'hot slaw' vintage charmer into your frittata and unequivocally will say you've given it a just rebirth. When it's not 90 degrees here, I'll be making it myself. Genius.

  2. Happy fall and what a great recipe to share! Its raining outside here in my Arizonian town and that Frittata looks like something that I would want to sit in bed with, along with a hot cup of coffee. Even though its dinner time- I love breakfast food anytime of the day!

  3. I adore frittatas and I dont often see them made with fall ingredients. Very clever adaptation of the slaw - clearly our brains went similar directions!
    I've been confused by fall this year. Last year I was in Maine, so I understand the beautiful changes you wrote about. California is certainly different but we can all enjoy fall food!

  4. You are so creative! and I LOVE your writing! thanks for hosting another great swap!

  5. I could read your writing all day long. You're just amazing. I also love that you went to eggs for this hot slaw adaptation, as well.

  6. What a great idea! Transform the slaw in a great frittata! Great job!

  7. Happy Fall! It is definitely crispy in NYC this morning and I'm headed to the cool quiet of CT for the day (though for work and not by a lake, sadly). Slowing down and eating with family and good friends is my favorite simple pleasure. Yay for a delicious swap.

  8. Happy Fall and Happy New Year indeed! I always thought that seasons didn't really exist in LA, but you're right...there is at least a noticeable change in the farmer's markets. Bravo on your recipe, its so great and simple. I'm a sucker for a good frittata, but I can't say I've ever put apple or cabbage in mine. I think I shall. Thanks as always for coordinating our fine swap!

  9. Hi Christianna, what a lovely post and relaxing read! We are almost into winter here in Scotland - snow forecast for next week!

  10. now that's one tasty frittata! I don't think I've ever seen apple used in one before, I'm lovin' those flavors, especially with the goat cheese and cheddar cheese!
    it is the perfect Fall Frittata!

  11. What a fabulous combination Christianna...and I've been on such a goat cheese journey these last few months that this seems a must make for me. As a matter of should add this to the array of goat cheese dishes that were assembled during was the first annual; there is sure to be a 2nd.

  12. Frittata sounds amazing - a great take on the swap, equally simple, easy, and comforting. But your writing took me away until I was lounging by that lake, wondering when the last swim will be. Thanks for transporting me to another reality, so calm and serene:)

  13. Stunning description of the coming Fall season; I can feel the cold water shocking my system now. And this lovely frittata would warm from the inside while wrapped in a nice warm blanket! Always a treat to read your posts!

  14. I agree with Chef Dennis whole heartedly - love the goat cheese and apple combination. Perfect way to welcome in the cooler weather.

  15. Very pretty. Love the flavors in this.

  16. Holy, goat cheese and cabbage in a frittata!? What an interesting combo...I love the idea..must try for my next brunch!

  17. I know you hate New York as much as I love it! It's nice for me to get a dose of why LA is a good place to live once in a thank you. Plus, I had to laugh at your reference to the cold water upstate! I can only imagine.

    Fabulous frittata. It looks delicious.


Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Stay positive!