Adventures with Leftovers

Leftovers have notoriously been fuel for my experimentation in the kitchen -- to both genius and failed results. The frittata is one of my go-to schemes for appropriating ingredients in new ways, and an ideal vehicle to use up fresh vegetables that are on their way out the door. Forging through the contents of my fridge for ideas, I pulled out a pasta salad that was laden with fresh veggies. With the chopping already prepped, the notion of tossing it all into a frittata seemed especially attractive. But this time it would contain an ingredient from a different camp: whole-wheat orzo.

It is among the tradition of the frittata to nestle pasta in the eggy mass. Though I rarely enjoy a frittata without crusty bread on the side, I must admit, I had never incorporated grains directly into the dish. What better way to apply the technique then by using my leftover orzo salad. Suspended with its accompanying veggies, the orzo gives the frittata more substance without weighing it down. It adds a complexity to the frittata's texture as well, interrupting the fluffy egg base with al dente moments of crunch. Escaping its reputation as a boring picnic side, orzo salad is reborn as a unique breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner-appropriate main. A one-skillet wonder that leaves one less container in my fridge.


Whole-wheat orzo salad:
-whole-wheat orzo
-diced tomato
-chopped cucumber
-chopped red onion
-several handfuls of finely chopped arugula, used as an herb
-lemon juice and zest
-olive oil

4 eggs, lightly beaten with a few Tbsp of milk

1. Lightly coat a medium skillet with olive oil. Heat on medium and add about 1 to 1 1/2 cup orzo salad. Warm orzo salad, stirring constantly so pasta doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
2. Spread orzo salad evenly over bottom of pan and pour eggs over top. Cover and allow to cook for a few minutes. Uncover and top with fresh spinach and arugula leaves. Cover again and cook until eggs are set.

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