This recipe would work with all sorts added in, such as roasted vegetables, different cheeses, more caramelised onions, herbs from the garden, or maybe some chorizo. You could also stir a Paste or Pesto through the vegetable base when cooking if you wanted more flavour.
3 banana shallots or 1 medium onion, peeled and finely sliced
200g spinach, washed and finely chopped (you can also use other shredded greens like cabbage, kale or spring greens)
400ml vegetable/chicken stock
200g Barley Couscous
4 free-range eggs
100g grated pecorino (Parmesan and Gruyere would make good substitutes)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Place a medium frying pan (non-stick, if possible) on a medium heat and when hot, add 3tbsp Olive Oil, followed by the shallots/onion. Season with salt and cook for around 10 minutes, until soft and sweet. Add the spinach or greens, season and cook until wilted and soft, around 3-5 minutes. Tip everything into a large mixing bowl and clean out the pan with kitchen paper.
While the vegetables are cooking, make up the stock. Put the Barley Couscous in a heat proof bowl, pour over the stock, and stir to mix then cover. Leave for 5 minutes so that all the liquid has been absorbed, then use a fork to break the Barley Couscous apart, spreading apart to allow the Couscous to cool.
Break the eggs into a separate bowl and whisk with a fork until well combined. Add the cooled Couscous to the vegetables, then add in the eggs, cheese and a generous dose of black pepper. Mix well to combine everything. Taste and add more salt if desired.
Place the frying pan back onto a medium heat and when hot, add 1tbsp Olive Oil. Pour the mixture into the pan, push it to the edges and smooth the top. Cook for 8-10 minutes or until a crust starts to form, giving the pan a shake to stop it sticking and turning the heat down as the bubbles get a bit intense. A steady stable heat will give you a golden crispy crust whilst cooking the inside.
Place a large plate on top of the pan then, using both hands, invert the pan. Put the pan back on the heat, slide the frittata back into the pan and cook for around 5-10 minutes, or until the frittata feels firm.
Remove the frittata from the pan using the same method as the previous step. Put the pan back on the heat, turning it up a little, add the butter and when it has melted and is beginning to foam, slide the frittata back into the pan. Cook for another 3-4 minutes or until the butter begins to smell ‘nutty’. Remove the frittata from the pan for the last time, allow to cool for a few minutes, then slice up and eat right away, although it is also good as a room temperature snack.