Hey, what’s this player doing here?! Click it to hear the author narrate this blog post.
You’ve probably seen a number of posts here that involve eggs. That is because I cook with a lot of fresh eggs. Super fresh and super local. I get them direct from my backyard chickens’ butts. My bathrobe pockets frequently contain Burt’s Bees shimmer chapstick, a kleenex or two, and an egg. And maybe a handful of tomatoes depending on the time of year.
This time of year I roam the garden with a pair of kitchen scissors so I can cut down my Swiss chard and any herbs that may require a trim. (Herbs like to be trimmed so I’m doing them a solid by packing my shears around the microfarm). Which leads us to today’s blog post, making a frittata with fresh ingredients.
You’ve read about the versatility of the frittata in an earlier post. If not, then you have time to do that now. Go ahead, I’ll wait.*
The frittata pictured up top of this post is finished with purple basil and chives. The base ingredients are eggs and Swiss chard. I start there with goodies I’ve gathered from the land I’m paying mortgage on. Then I build using stuff I have on hand. I usually have a variety of veggies and cheeses around. And of course my pantry includes Maldon sea salt flakes (add it to your specialty grocery list now). If you look closely you’ll see crystals nestled among the herbs topping the frittata. Those are yummy, yummy salt flakes.
The frittata also gets a swish of butter across the top once it’s out of the oven, before it’s cut. Just a little dab of organic butter adds to the yumminess factor. In “Julia’s Kitchen Wisdom,” Julia Child spears a lump of butter and brushes it over an omelet. Butter, in a word, is delicious.
Growing up in a family that always ate dinner meant always having stuff around to prepare dinner. Stuff that didn’t always get used up or eaten. Sometimes we’d have what my dad called a “refrigerator dinner.” Going out of town? Let’s eat what’s in the refrigerator. Don’t really need to go to the store? Let’s use up what’s in the refrigerator. Basically your meal is bound by whatever perishables you’ve got on hand. Enhancing with pantry items is allowed, but you’ve got to use whatever is in the refrigerator that you’d otherwise have to toss. You cannot go to the store!
The other night I didn’t want to go to the store. Let’s see what’s in the refrigerator: zucchini golden squash from my garden, chicken sausage–use it or freeze it, and rounding out our challenge down in the crisper, a bright bunch of sorrel I’d cut and washed earlier in the week.
My basil went a little nuts while I was on vacation. Shrouded in the unruly tomato brush it grew unsupervised for 10 days. (Tomatoes and basil make good garden companion plants.) The basil became so tall I only harvested the top half of the stalks. Herbs, I should mention, like to be cut. If you see flowers growing on your basil give the plant a nice trim. If you’re not ready to use your basil right away you can just pinch off the tops and get rid of those pretty flowers. Do this so that your herb will continue producing.
Fresh basil is a delightful addition to green salads, eggs, tomato dishes, and sauces. It has many practical applications. My favorite? Pesto. Mmm. Basil pesto is an easily prepared, uncooked sauce with many decadent applications. Love eggs? Scramble them with a little basil pesto. Top a nice fillet of wild caught salmon with pesto. Dollop pesto over a baked potato, stir it into some brown rice, or toss it with fettuccini. Continue reading Please pass the pesto→