Frittata Caprese for One (and trust me, once you taste it, you will be glad you don't have to share)

 Before I wrote you a novel dedicated to Mexican-themed dishes for Cinco de Mayo, I lamented my own free-will decision to decline a dreamy Culinary Tour of Italy next year. Although I have officially confirmed that I will not be attending this quite surreal trip, I'd like to spend the next few paragraphs telling you all about another recipe that can give you a small taste of Italy in your own kitchen...just close your eyes and savor every bite, and you'll be transported off to beautiful Rome, or Florence, or some little tiny town that hardly anyone has ever heard of, but it perfectly magical all the same.

When I bit into this frittata caprese, I mellowed out a little bit. This dish has all of the flavors of a classic fresh tomato and mozzarella pie, yet with all of the clean, refreshing flavors of a light egg base. The only things I did change were adding a few spices, and to lightly roast my own tomatoes, which offered a very dainty, subtle complexity to an otherwise fresh taste; and the only thing I plan to change in the future (because yes, there is undoubtedly a place in my future for this dish) would be to drizzle just the slightest bit of balsamic vinegar over the top before serving. 

In addition to how perfect this frittata tastes, this method of preparing it affords lonely 'ole folks like me the opportunity to enjoy an egg-based "casserole" without piles of un-freezable leftovers that we could never eat our way through by ourselves. I always stare longingly at the quiche and frittata recipes I have saved, because I can't realistically make them at the apartment for myself and eggs are not the main-ingredient-of-choice for the rest of la famiglia. So this recipe is fabulous on two counts - not only are the flavors capable of evoking a calm, day-dreamy emotion from anyone who doesn't just scarf the frittata down, but also the method is one to keep in your back pocket for a quick yet undeniably delicious any-time-of-day meal.

Frittata Caprese, courtesy of Cookin Canuck
Yield: 1 serving

The Ingredients
6 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 large eggs
pinch freshly ground black pepper
dried rosemary, to taste
dash garlic powder
1 or 1 1/4-inch thick round fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/8-inch pieces
2-4 fresh basil leaves, chiffonaded (rolled like a cigar & thinly sliced)
balsamic vinegar, to taste

The Method
Place the halved tomatoes face up on a lined baking sheet and place under the broiler, approximately 3-4 minutes, until they begin to sizzle and bubble. Flip them over to be face down and return to the broiler for another few minutes, waiting for the skin to wrinkle slightly but not quite blister. Remove from the broiler and allow to cool, enough to handle, and then coarsely chop them and set aside.

Lightly beat the eggs in a small bowl while a small, heatproof skillet heats over medium heat with a scant amount of oil coating it. Once hot, pour the eggs in and cook without stirring or agitating the pan until the bottom is set but the top is still slightly uncoked. Season with pepper, rosemary, and garlic powder, then top with the tomatoes and mozzarella. 

Place the skillet under the broiler to finish cooking the top of the frittata, looking for a light brown color and a slight puff to just develop on the egg. Meanwhile, chiffonade the basil leaves. Remove the frittata from the oven when it is finished, gently slide it onto a plate, and top with a sprinkle of basil and a drizzle of balsamic. Serve immediately.

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