not just eggs

Reposting a great egg Frittata recipe for Easter. enjoy....Picture a hot summer morning at the beach. Five kids, two parents, pitchers of water, seltzer and juice, and tons of sunblock. It must be noted here, that many members of The Family (as the larger group of my siblings and parents shall hence forth be known, no cult-association intended here) hated the beach.

Herewith, some back-story on The Family history with the beach. Joe, our Dad, does not care for the sun. Being one of those blonde-haired, non-olive-skinned Italians, it is understandable why. So, we would head out to Jones Beach, in Long Island, at the crack of 7AM on a potentially sunny Sunday. We'd get there by 7:30, eat pastries on the boardwalk and then set up on the beach. At that hour, there was always plenty of choice real estate available, so we were right near the shore. We were usually packing up sometime around lunch, to avoid the high sun and the traffic back to Queens.

Another major issue, were the jelly fish. I'm not sure when it happened, but I do recall as early as age six that Gran Fran had scared us witless regarding these slimy creatures. Walking on the edge of the ocean was fraught with looking for the telltale globs of jelly-fishness. Gran Fran was convinced that if we got within even five feet of one, we would come away stung. Needless to say, none of us ever got a sting, but we all steered well clear of the jelly fish. And, to this day, poor Iz has to deal with my ever-lasting fear, with calls of "You keeps your eyes open for jelly fish. You don't want to get stung!" I guess no matter what we do, we all eventually turn into our parents.

As the morning progressed, we played in the surf, buried ourselves in the sand and collected a multitude of seashells (and some kelp, if I remember correctly, that was not allowed in the car home). We'd get hungry again around 11:00. This was the big event.

Enter the greatest lunch on earth: Gran Fran's Fritatta. Simply put, it is just a potato and egg pie, like an omelette, but fluffier and filled with fried potatoes.

But, Gran Fran has a way with eggs like no one else. It must be said here that she cooks all egg dishes in olive oil, not butter. Olive oil is the preferred cooking medium for all things savory in Gran Fran's world. Heaven forfend using butter for anything other than baked goods, especially eggs. She gags at the thought of it.

Out came the Frittata. Gran Fran is known for her wrapping (no, it's not elegant, but it is always thorough), and did not scrimp on the waxed paper then foil wrap to ensure the eggs would stay nice and soft, and the temperature would remain as cool as possible.

Cups of seltzer were poured and the eggs handed out. There was always quiet once everyone was served and was munching on their delectable treat. At those times, it was nice to see such a large family having a nice peaceful lunch on a sunny beach day.

But once the eggs were eaten, everyone dispersed again to do what they had been doing before lunch (avoiding the jelly fish, mind you). Overall, we were sated, happy and sunburned. And, it was high noon, time for The Family to head out. That Gran Fran, she sure knows how to feed a crowd!

Fritatta A la Gran Fran

Serves 4 as a meal, or 8 as a side dish


  • 2 Russet potatoes peeled and sliced thin
  • 5 Eggs
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • Salt to taste

You will need a broiler-proof non-reactive deep skillet.


  • Heat pan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and swirl it around to coat the sides and bottom of the pan.
  • Place potatoes in pan, one at a time to create one layer. Do not crowd them. This will make a nice base for the Fritatta.
  • Cook the potatoes over medium heat until they are browned, about 10 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and cook another 5 to 8minutes, watching carefully to make sure they don't burn.
  • Crack 5 eggs into a bowl and mix them as if you’re making scrambled eggs. Be sure to break up all the yolks and get them all mixed together well. Add salt to taste, but not too much.
  • When the potatoes are cooked on both sides, sprinkle them gently with salt. Pour the beaten eggs over the potatoes. Move the pan around to distribute the eggs evenly. After a minute or two, slide a spatula around the sides of the pan and tilt the pan so the raw eggs run into the space that the spatula created.
  • Keep the pan on the flame for 3 minutes or so, shaking the pan gently, until the eggs begin to set to about an inch around the circumference of the fritata.
  • Set the broiler for 3 minutes. Place pan under the broiler and watch carefully as top of eggs get bubbly, firm, and golden, until the top is well browned.
  • Remove from oven. Place a serving plate on top of the pan, using oven mitts, grab the pan and plate and flip the Fritatta out onto the plate.

Enjoy hot, warm, cold, or at room temperature. Wonderful with a ripe tomato salad sprinkled wiht finely minced scallions, a dusting of kosher salt, and a good dollop of olive oil (this is Gran Fran's addendum to the above recipe).