I’ve thought about making Martha Rose Shulman’s spicy Tunisian carrot frittata at least a dozen times. Whenever I paged through her book, The Very Best Recipes for Health, the frittata’s brilliant color smiled at me and its spices winked.
But I could predict The Professor’s enthusiasm — or lack thereof. “Another time,” I’d tell myself. Well that time finally came — last weekend, when friends were coming over for brunch.
After I’d pureed a pound of carrots and mixed them with the eggs, and made some harissa (using a recipe I found online and making a few substitutions for ingredients that I didn’t have), I began to worry. Home-made harissa? Carrot frittata? Why was I serving my friends such an experiment? My mother would never be so foolish. Damnit.
But there was no turning back. And I’m glad that I didn’t, as my guests asked for seconds — and The Professor gave the dish a “B+ verging on A-.”
This is not your average frittata — a wedge of eggyness studded with vegetables, cheese, whateveryourpleasure. The spices give the dish some surprising zing (surprising for a frittata, at least). The heat of the harissa nicely balances the sweetness of the carrots, and the flavors suffuse the dish.
“On taste, this is nice,” said The Professor. “The flavor is good, and it’s certainly interesting.”
The frittata’s only weakness: satisfaction. I’d served it with a salad and a baguette, and split the 10-inch pie four ways. “It’s OK for brunch,” he said. “But for dinner I’d want something more — even if it’s just some good bruschetta.”
So I’ll be thinking about something else to serve with the frittata that would push it over the fence into A territory.