Caramelized Onion, Basil and Potato Frittata

Basil, Caramelized Onion and Potato Frittata

Graham’s parents were in town a few weeks ago for a conference and we had a great time touring around with them one day. The day started with brunch at our house.  We thought it would be fun to have them over to eat on the plates that they gave us recently for a wedding gift.

Red Potatoes

For brunch, I wanted to make something fairly straightforward that I could just pop in the oven while we visited and did other things. Even though I had never made one before, I decided that making a frittata was the way to go.  I was able to cook some of the ingredients, assemble the frittata, and have it in the oven before our guests arrived.  I did, however, still get a little sidetracked by the fruit salad and cinnamon rolls that I also made for the brunch.

Potatoes cooking

The frittata puffed up and took on a beautiful golden color while it was in the oven. The basil-flecked interior was light, but the ricotta cheese gave it an interesting and slightly grainy texture.  I think it was the texture that led Graham’s mom to ask if the recipe had corn meal in it. Next time I might experiment with leaving the ricotta out.  Despite my own slight dissatisfaction with the texture, everyone seemed to enjoy the frittata and overall, I think the brunch was a big hit.

Batter for frittata

Caramelized Onion, Basil and Potato Frittata

Adapted from a Barefoot Contessa recipe

I significantly cut down the butter in the original recipe and used Parmesan cheese instead of Gruyere. I also used red potatoes and added caramelized onions to the mix. I would highly recommend mixing the vegetables into the egg batter before pouring it all in the pan. Instead, I poured the batter on top of the vegetables and as a result they might have browned up a little too much being on the bottom of the pan.

1-2 tablespoon olive oil (divided)

2 onions

2 cups red potatoes, sliced thinly

8 eggs

3 tablespoons butter, melted

15 ounces ricotta cheese

3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

1/3 cup flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Begin by slicing the onions into thin strips. Coat the bottom of a large pan with olive oil and add the onions to the pan once the oil is hot.  Cook for roughly 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes to keep the onions from burning. The onions should cook down quite a bit and take on a rich brown color.

Set onions aside and use the same pan for cooking the potatoes. Add a bit more olive oil and spread the sliced potatoes in the pan. Stir often to keep potatoes from sticking and allow the potatoes to brown and cook through.

While the potatoes are cooking, preheat the oven to 350°. Beat together the eggs and stir in the melted butter. Mix in the ricotta cheese, parmesan cheese, flour, baking soda, salt and pepper.  Fold in the chopped basil, onions and potatoes and pour into an ovenproof skillet (I used a 12 inch skillet).

Finished basil, caramelized onion and potato frittata

Tasty Easy Healthy Green Recipe Ratings:

Recipe Report Card Notes About Recipe Ratings

Tasty Rating


Four Chefs (Delicious!)

Nice flavor, but the texture wasn’t quite right.

Easy Rating


Three Easy Chairs (Average Difficulty)

Slice, brown, mix, bake. The frittata involved a little prep time, but once in the oven it was pretty hands-off.

Healthy Rating


Three Apples (Average Nutritional Quality)

A little heavy on the cheese.

Green Rating


Three Leaves (Average Environmental Friendliness)

Some organic ingredients. Only the basil and onions were local.
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