Clean Out the Fridge with a Baked Egg Dish

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Maybe you went a little wild roasting everything in your kitchen from last week's CSA, or maybe you accidentally shopped for a small family reunion when you live alone. Any way you cut it, one of the best ways to clear out the fridge is to toss together a baked egg dish. Call it what you want — frittata, quiche, strata, breakfast casserole — it's the solution to that pesky problem in your fridge.

Besides the combo guilt trip/annoyance felt when wasting food, the number one reason for me personally to eliminate waste in the kitchen is money. As a young person living in New York, I am (surprise, surprise) on a budget. Fortunately, this turns into a fun game in the kitchen: What can I do with that ready-to-spoil-at-any-moment food? FYI: This is a totally appropriate time to confiscate your roommate's sad looking cherry tomatoes.

If I'm feeling ambitious (or better yet, if I felt ambitious last month and stocked the freezer with dough), I will do a crust. (Like Anne's brilliant pat-in-the-pan-crust.) If not, no worries! Typically I toss 3 to 4 ingredients together, crumble a bit of any ol' cheese, and pour over 5 or 6 eggs I've whisked together with a bit of milk or cream, whichever is handy.

This week's feature: leftover roasted potatoes, a handful of ridiculously ripe CSA tomatoes, and a bunch of semi-wilty spinach saved by a quick sauté.

The base formula is pretty flexible. A few tips:

  • Keep the ingredients fairly dry - For example, if you're using frozen spinach, make sure to thaw and press out as much water as possible.
  • Crusty bread and potatoes make a great base and contribute to something heartier and denser.
  • Short on ingredients? Go simple with herbs de provence and a nutty cheese.

I've sliced avocados on top, gone Southwest with sour cream and jarred salsa, dotted the whole thing with spreadable cheese wedges — you name it. Call it what you want, it's perfect for a weeknight dinner. Best of all, it reheats fabulously for a decadent breakfast or lunch the next day.

What's your favorite way to clear out the fridge?

(Image: Kate Gagnon)

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