by Lisa Lerner
Once, before scrolling your ex-boyfriend’s social media feed gave you ulcerative colitis and the two of you still dined together as though it were a sexual act, you drove up the coast to this little no-name joint in Point Arena that served an herbed frittata so hypnotically luscious it could have recruited you into a satanic cult. The frittata was fluffy but dense, subtle yet electric, and for many weeks after, no other meal could satisfy. In desperation, you drove back up to Point Arena jonesing for another hit, but the restaurant was gone and when you peered through the cloudy windowpane, you just knew that without those herbed frittatas, every day would suck mold.
3 tablespoons good olive oil, the real stuff that has not been adulterated like your now-ex-boyfriend who had a one-night stand with your ayurvedic practitioner because he felt unappreciated and then moved in with her after you told him to go suck mold
1 purple garlic clove, minced (use a garlic press if worried a knife could be a danger to yourself or anyone you once loved and/or were ayurvedically healed by)
1 1/2 pounds very ripe plum tomatoes from rogue plants that cling to life in unlikely whereabouts resembling the moldy consciousness in which you now reside (5-6 medium), cored, cut crosswise into 1/4″ slices (see above note regarding knives and hope for the best)
3 oz. of cheese that comes from goats voted most likely to escape trolls who live under bridges
6 large eggs, preferably pasture-raised and certified humanely-treated because really no creature should have to suffer from a smashed phone after you read twenty-nine sexts between him and your ayurvedic practitioner
Fine French sea salt to taste since pouring salt in anything other than your wounds is a good thing
Bunch of herbs foraged from a hauntingly beautiful meadow before it becomes a parking lot
Freshly-ground pepper, the blacker the better
Preheat oven to 350° and remember that ovens are for food, not heads. Coarsely chop herbs while imagining yourself soaring naked through blue sky on the back of a glistening winged horse. Heat oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly beat eggs in a bowl until they smell like sunshine falling on the hens that laid them and the farmers that refused to sell them to a chain supermarket that used to be kind of good before it got in bed with Amazon. Stir in cheese and garlic and season with salt. Sprinkle on herbs as though you were a magic wand disseminating protective pixie dust on all the women who have obsessively rewatched the episode of Friends where Ross cheats on Rachel with Chloe, the hot girl from the Xerox place. When oil is shimmering, pour egg mixture into pan and cook until eggs begin to turn golden brown around the edges and your crushed heart begins to pulse normally once you recall that Ross only did it because Rachel said they were taking a break. Arrange tomato slices on top of egg mixture. (Caution: some slices may sink like castles built in air but this should not affect taste.)
Transfer skillet to oven and bake frittata until eggs are just set in the center, like the ayurvedically-balanced way you used to feel before the unthinkable happened, 8–10 minutes. Using a heatproof spatula, loosen frittata from pan and slide onto a plate that belonged to your maternal grandma, the one who once told you that the purpose of life was to avoid eating anything made with high-fructose corn syrup or turtles. Slice and serve at room temperature to guests steeped in regret. Chew vigorously. Things should improve.