Carrot and Dill Frittata

frittata with carrot and dill
I love my CSA farm share. I could tell you that it’s because the veggies are bountiful and fresh, or because our farmers are lovely and inspiring. But the truth is, it’s mostly because I enjoy the challenge. Anyone who has been part of a CSA knows that feeling of excitement every week when you arrive to pick up your share, wondering what will end up in your bag. I adore the not knowing, the surprise of finding a big purple eggplant or a bunch of fresh herbs or a pile of carrots. But then I get home an I realize that I never used up all those carrots from last week, or even the week before, and now my crisper is overflowing with carrots. And dill. I like dill well enough, but what’s a girl to do with three bunches of fresh dill?

The answer, of course, is to throw it in everything.

So we’ve been having roasted carrots with dill, and salads with a dilly vinaigrette, and carrot soup with a dill oil drizzle. And this morning when I wanted eggs it seemed only natural to add in my staple ingredients of the moment. Surprisingly, carrots and dill and a bit of Swiss cheese make for a truly delicious frittata. The sweet carrots, fragrant dill, and nutty cheese bring the humble egg to a whole new level. I think the trick, though, is not to overcook the carrots. You do want them soft – but not mushy. The bit of bite they lend to the frittata makes it seem heartier, more substantial.

I’ve pretty much worked my way through my stash of carrots, and I only have a small bunch of fresh dill left. We’ll see what next week brings. I’m hoping it’s not more garlic. I have nine heads of fresh garlic in my fridge right now. Anyone have any great garlic ideas?

omelet with carrot

Carrot and Dill Frittata
Serves 1-2

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
2 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced (about 1 cup)
3 large eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup grated Swiss cheese

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In an oven-proof 8-inch skillet, melt the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and carrots and sauté until the carrots begin to soften, about 6-7 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs, milk, dill, salt, an pepper until frothy. Reduce the heat to low and make sure that the carrots are spread evenly in the pan. Then slowly pour in the egg mixture. Shake the pan a bit to distribute the egg. Allow the frittata to cook for 2-3 minutes to let the bottom set. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and transfer to the top rack of the oven. Cook until the egg is set and golden and the cheese has melted. Run a spatula around the edge of the pan and turn the frittata out onto a plate. Slice and enjoy (also yummy cold)!

Published in: on August 10, 2013 at 10:56 am  Comments (8)  
Tags: , , , , ,

Butternut Hash and Eggs

butternut squash and fennel

I eat eggs for dinner pretty regularly.  I know some folks consider eggs a breakfast food, and I do love a good Benedict for brunch, but I’ve always been a fan of eggs for dinner.  There is something totally relaxed, completely soothing, and inexplicably fun about an eggy supper.

I think I probably get my evening egg love from my dad.  My dad was never much of a cook.  In fact, there were only two things that he knew how to make.  One of them was scrambled eggs.  He always called it an omelet, but it was very much a scramble.  A kitchen sink scramble. With everything from leftover brisket to chopped chicken nuggets.  And somehow we loved it.  But more often than not, my dad’s “omelets” were not breakfast food.  “Omelets” were for nights when mom wasn’t home and he didn’t feel like ordering pizza. 

These days, I’m not quite as into scrambled eggs with hot dogs.  But I am still into using eggs-for-dinner nights to clean out the fridge. 

Yesterday, my fridge yielded leftover cooked butternut and a half a bulb of fennel.  I added in a few potatoes and some onion, and a hash was born. Topped with an over-easy egg, it was sweet, salty, rich and decadent.  I’m a big fan of the subtle sweetness of the squash with the crispy edges of fried egg. But if you don’t have any winter squash, you could certainly substitute sweet potato or some chopped carrots or parsnips.  I quickly steamed the butternut in the microwave, because I like it a bit soft.  If you prefer, you can roast it along with the onions and fennel. This is a really flexible hash, so play with flavors that you enjoy. And as for the fried egg, I happen to like a slightly runny yolk. I crack an egg in a hot, greased pan, cook for 2 minutes, then flip and cook for 1 minute more.  But egg cookery is very personal, so experiment until you find your perfect method.

vegetable hash and egg supper

Butternut Hash and Eggs

Serves 4

2 cups diced butternut squash

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

2 cups diced Yukon gold potato

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped fennel

 4 eggs

1 tablespoon butter

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Put a few tablespoons of water in a large microwavable bowl with the butternut squash.  Cook in the microwave on high until the butternut is soft, about 5 minutes.  Drain any excess water and return the butternut to the bowl.

Meanwhile, toss the potatoes with half of the oil, the herbs, and salt and pepper.  Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet.  Toss the onion and fennel with the remaining oil and more salt and pepper and spread on another baking sheet.  Roast both until the potatoes are crisp and the fennel is soft, about 20 minutes.

While the vegetables roast, cook the eggs.  Heat the butter in a very large skillet over medium heat.  Carefully crack the eggs into the skillet and cook until desired doneness. 

Toss the potatoes, onions and fennel in with the butternut.  Divide the butternut mixture onto four plates and top each with an egg, and, if desired, an extra sprinkle of salt. Serve immediately.

Published in: on March 19, 2012 at 6:27 pm  Comments (6)  
Tags: , , , ,

Breakfast Tostada

breakfast taco

What do you eat when you’re dining alone?

For me, it’s eggs.  It’s always eggs. 

Maybe it’s simply because Jeff hates eggs. I know – who doesn’t like eggs?  My husband, that’s who.  Omelets, scrambles, benedicts, quiches… all out of the question. So we don’t eat eggs together.  But when he’s working late, out of town, or just not hungry, I never think twice. It’s always eggs.

Or maybe it’s because there are a million ways to cook eggs, almost all of them quick, easy, healthy and perfect for solo meals. When I’m cooking for myself, I don’t usually like to fuss too much in the kitchen.  But that doesn’t mean I always want to order pizza or eat a bowl of Cheerios.  Although, sometimes nothing beats a bowl of Cheerios…

This breakfast tostada is great in the morning as a quick, healthy weekday treat for yourself.  But the recipe doubles, triples, or quadruples really easily, too, and makes a nice brunch with friends.  I like to use corn tortillas, since they toast up with the best texture.  I’m a big fan of chipotle salsa here, but use whatever you like most.  I think a good tomatillo salsa would be yummy.  But if you have some homemade salsa in the fridge, by all means, use it!  This recipe is really more of a suggestion, so play around with toppings.  You could add some refried beans or black beans.  Or maybe sprinkle on a few corn kernels or a squeeze of lime.  Perhaps go for some shredded cabbage instead of lettuce, for extra crunch. You could sub in turkey sausage or even vegan sausage for the chorizo, or use up some leftover shredded chicken breast.  You get the idea.

egg tostada

Breakfast Tostada

Makes 1 tostada

1 corn tortilla

1 teaspoon butter

1 egg

pinch of salt

2 tablespoons salsa

2 tablespoons cooked crumbled chorizo

2 tablespoons shredded lettuce

1 tablespoon sour cream

1 radish, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon chopped fresh cilantro

Toast the corn tortilla in the oven or toaster oven until mostly crisp, but not too browned.  Meanwhile, heat the butter in a skillet and fry the egg to your desired doneness.  I like over-medium, but cook to your preference.  Sprinkle the egg with salt and remove from the heat. Spread the salsa on the tortilla.  Top with the egg, the chorizo, the lettuce, the sour cream, the radish, and the cilantro.  Enjoy with a couple of napkins!

Published in: on February 25, 2012 at 3:10 pm  Comments (8)  
Tags: , , , ,

Good Living for Breakfast: Pear, Yogurt, and Feta Frittata

greek yogurt frittata

On day two without electricity here in chilly Connecticut, I began to dream of the sea.  On day three, I saw sparkling azure water and white Cycladic houses perched on craggy cliffs. By day four I was imagining myself relaxing in the sunshine on a balcony high above the Mediterranean, sipping coffee from a dainty espresso cup and munching honey-drenched loukamades. By the time the power came back,  five days after our freak fall snowstorm, the Greek Isles were calling my name. 

Enjoying a leisurely breakfast on that hilltop hotel balcony, with the sea breeze in my hair and the scent of Greek coffee filling my nose – now that would be good living!  And with impeccable timing, the folks at Fage Total (makers of luscious, creamy, healthy Greek yogurt), through the magic of Foodbuzz, have asked a handful of bloggers to weigh in on the concept of “good living.”

It would be easy to live the good life on a sun-drenched Mediterranean beach.   But here’s the thing: I’m not in Greece.  And neither are you (well, most of you).  We’re here, in our own real world lives, where we don’t eat breakfast off cobalt porcelain while lounging on hotel balconies. If you’re like me you make a mad dash to work and scarf down breakfast at your desk.  Or maybe you devour a granola bar while driving carpool, or grab a donut from the drive-through.  Despite our busy schedules, good living shouldn’t be reserved for vacation.

I’m on a mission to make good living happen every day.  And I’m starting with breakfast.

fage total frittata recipe

Turning my desk into a cafe in Mykonos may not be realistic, but I can certainly do better than a handful of cereal on a napkin and a paper cup of coffee.  To me, good living is about enjoying the details.  It starts with a good coffee mug.  Mine is pink, heavy and just the right size.  Filled with hot coffee, its rounded shape keeps my cupped hands warm as I sip.  Real utensils, too, are worth the effort.  Although they have to be washed, they make a meal feel like a meal, something to be savored not simply consumed.  I have a stash of spoons, forks and cute little plates in my desk drawer that help me to enjoy the moment of my breakfast, however short.

Someday I might actually make time to eat breakfast at home, but for now, I have an arsenal of quick portable breakfasts that still make me feel pampered. It’s no surprise that most of my favorite quick breakfasts include Greek yogurt – it’s creamy, decadent, and chock full of protein.    The possibilities are endless, but here are just a few of my favorite on-the-go or at work breakfasts:

pumpkin greek yogurt

-My Pumpkin Yogurt Breakfast Parfait 

-Fage 0%, fig jam, and toasted pine nuts layered in a portable container and sprinkled with cinnamon

-An egg, scrambled with a bit of chipotle hot sauce, rolled in a tortilla with canned black beans, a spoonful of Fage 0%, and a sprinkle of chopped fresh cilantro if you’re feeling fancy

-Fage 0%, a handful of dried cherries, and a few chocolate chips stirred into (instant or reheated) plain oatmeal

-Toasted ciabatta topped with Fage 2%, orange zest and strawberry jam

-A PB+J parfait: slightly warmed smooth peanut butter stirred into Fage 2%, layered with strawberry jam and sliced banana (and maybe even crumbled crisp bacon if you’re in an Elvis kind of mood!)

-A smoothie made of dried dates microwaved in a cup of orange juice, then whirred in a blender with Fage 2%, ice and honey

-This Pear, Yogurt and Feta Frittata!

This frittata is my latest breakfast obsession. It’s quick to make, so if you can spare a few minutes of sleep, it would be a great candidate for a leisurely at-home weekday breakfast.  But it reheats wonderfully, in either a toaster oven or a microwave, so it’s a perfect take-to-work option, assuming you have kitchen access on the job.  But even if you don’t, this frittata is delicious cold or at room temperature.  And if you’re really on the go, it is incredibly fantastic stuffed into a pita with an extra dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of honey, and even a handful of toasted nuts if you like.

fage total

I’ve always been a big fan of the sweet and salty combination.  The salty feta, tangy yogurt, sweet pear and earthy honey make for a fantastic taste experience.  What is really special here, though, is the texture of the eggs.  Adding yogurt to the egg mixture makes this frittata taste anything but healthy.  But it is healthy, and to my mind, good living requires nutrition as well as indulgence.  This frittata fits the bill; it tastes wonderful, looks beautiful, feels decadent and powers me through my morning.  And it works great for lunch or dinner too.  I should know since I just ate it for three meals in a row!

Pear, Yogurt and Feta Frittata

Serves 3-4

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 eggs

3 egg whites

6 ounces fat free Greek yogurt, divided

pinch of salt

pinch of freshly ground black pepper

1 small pear, thinly sliced

2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled

3 tablespoons honey

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Heat the oil in a nonstick oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Wisk the eggs, egg whites, and half of the yogurt together until smooth and no lumps remain (this can take a few minutes).  Stir in the salt and pepper. Add the egg mixture to the skillet and swirl slowly to make sure it settles evenly in the pan.  Quickly arrange the pear slices on top and then sprinkle with the cheese.  Transfer the skillet to the oven and cook until the egg is set and the cheese melts, about 10 minutes.  Remove the skillet from the oven and slide the frittata onto a serving plate (it should slide out easily). Drizzle the frittata with honey and serve with a dollop of the remaining yogurt. Delicious hot or cold!

As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher program, I have been entered for the chance to win a trip to Greece courtesy of FAGE. You too can enter to win one of three trips to Greece by entering the FAGE Plain Extraordinary Greek Getaway here: http://www.fageusa.com/community/fage-greek-getaway

Published in: on November 6, 2011 at 12:00 pm  Comments (16)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Healthy Hash for Brunch

sausage has and fried egg

For the longest time I thought I didn’t like breakfast hash.  Greasy corned beef and squishy potatoes, what was to like?  And why waste the calories on a pile of mush when I could have a fluffy omelet or a big stack of blueberry pancakes?  But back when I was spending my days in the kitchen of a bed and breakfast, dozens of guests asked for corned beef hash.  With that much interest, I figured there had to be something to this ugly dish.  And after a few dozen tries, I figured out the trick: crispy potatoes.  For me, texture was key, and in addition to making the potatoes crisp, I opted to shred the corned beef by hand instead of pulverizing it in the food processor. Nicely browned potato bits, and rich, salty corned beef topped with perfect fried eggs made for a fantastic (and anything-but-mushy) breakfast.

chicken sausage with peppers and onionsOf course, crispy potatoes meant fried potatoes, and all of that corned beef brought with it loads of salt and fat. So while I occasionally served corned beef hash and eggs, I rarely ate it.  In fact, I haven’t had hash and eggs in years.  But last week I went out to brunch with my cousin Laurie and saw it on the menu.  Laurie and I shared a decadent crab cake, and a lovely order of potato pancakes with apples, but all week long I’ve been dreaming about that plate of hash and eggs. 

colored eggs rhode island red chickenMy usual hash included deep-fried potato bits and a big hunk of corned beef.  Starting the day with that much fat was not exactly appealing when I set out to make brunch this morning.  And I didn’t have a big old corned beef just hanging out in the fridge. So I decided to experiment.  And I love when an experiment works out!  Instead of frying the potatoes, I tossed them in a bit of oil and roasted them until brown and crisp.  And in place of the corned beef, I went for some red bell peppers and a link of Italian chicken sausage.  Topped off with an egg fried in just a bit of cooking spray, and it was not just lighter, but actually more flavorful than the typical corned beef version. Yum!

egg yolk and healthy breakfast hash

Italian Chicken Sausage Hash and Eggs

Serves 2

2 cups diced potatoes (skin on is fine)

2 teaspoons olive oil

cooking spray

1/4 cup diced onion

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

salt

1/4  teaspoon dried basil

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1 link (2-3 ounces) Italian chicken sausage, uncooked

2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Toss the potatoes with the oil and spread on a rimmed baking sheet greased prepared with cooking spray.  Roast until browned, about 20 minutes, turning once.  Meanwhile, saute the onion and pepper in cooking spray.  Add salt and herbs and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Squeeze the sausage from the casing into the pan, and break up with a spoon.  Cook until the sausage is browned. 

Coat a nonstick pan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Crack two eggs into the pan and fry to desired doneness. Remove the potatoes from the oven and sprinkle with salt.  Toss the potatoes with the sausage mixture. Mound the hash on two plates and top each with a fried egg.

italian chicken sausage breakfast hash

Published in: on June 6, 2010 at 11:45 am  Comments (33)  
Tags: , , , , , ,