May 17, 2011

Potato-Lovage Fritatta

In early spring, when the vegetable garden is at its beginning, with asparagus, because it is a perennial, the only vegetable ready for picking, there are the perennial herbs––lovage, sorrel, thyme––available for adding bright flavor to various dishes. I love sorrel's lemony taste, and have posted recipes for a Sorrel Onion Tart here, and Potato-Sorrel Soup here. Lovage is a large dramatic plant whose leaves look and taste like celery, a particularly pungent celery. It is nice added to soups and salads, and this recipe for a fritatta, which comes from Deborah Madison's The Greens Cookbook, is a favorite of mine for a spring meal. I still have some potatoes in the root cellar; although they beginning to sprout they're still good, so I used French Fingerlings whose waxy texture was delicious in this dish.

10 small or 4 medium potatoes (about one pound)
1 Tbs olive oil
3 Tbs butter
1 medium yellow onion, sliced into 1/4 inch slices.
8 eggs
2 to 3 teaspoons chopped lovage leaves or 1/4 cup pale inner celery leaves. (I put in a bit more lovage because I like the flavor, but it is quite strong.)

  1. Boil or steam potatoes till tender, then slice thinly.
  2. Put olive oil and half the butter in a 10 or 12 inch non stick pan (I use cast iron) with the onion and cook at medium heat until it is soft and lightly colored.
  3. Add potatoes and cook till they are also lightly colored, turning them from time to time. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, beat the eggs, add 1/4 teas salt, some black pepper, and the lovage.
  5. Add the rest of the butter to the pan, let it foam and then pour in the eggs. Turn the heat down to very very low and cook for 20 minutes. At that point the eggs will be mostly set. Put the pan under the broiler for a minute or two to brown the top.
  6. Slice in wedges and enjoy, warm or at room temperature.


  1. Copying, and planning to make, though I don't have lovage. Thank you!

  2. I do have lovage; and this seems a good way to present it, as the main flavor, otherwise I find it overwhelms everything else you add it to.

  3. Susan, lovage grows like a weed, but a non-invasive one. I can bring you a piece when I see you.
    Helen, you'll notice the recipe calls for only a couple of teaspoons of chopped lovage; it definitely is strong flavored.

  4. Sounds delicious. I'm supposed to make a 12 egg fritatta for the Grandmothers' first breakfast...I had proposed a baked egg dish, but I see this is mostly stove top. I'm collecting ideas; using the fresh herbs so important.

  5. This looks wonderful, Altoon.
    I just discovered frittatas last summer, and experimented wildly with various ingredients. What really sends me is sorrel in it - it is not so strong a flavor, and is heavenly with bits of pre-cooked diced potatoes. Of course herbs are important, and cheeses can add to it all well.

  6. Maggie and chateaushare, this fritatta is quite good, as are many other combinations. In the summer, I love a tomato-onion-basil fritatta.