Heirloom Tomato Frittata

 

tomatofrittata

Tomatoes are coming on strong now and can be found everywhere at farmers’ markets and roadside stands. We are eating them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Recently, I made this fantastic, flavorful frittata for lunch, but it would do well for any meal.

A frittata is quick and easy to make when you don’t have a lot of time or if you have several people to serve a quick, satisfying breakfast or brunch. The Italian word frittata comes from the Italian verb friggere – to fry, suggests the simplicity of this great dish. A frittata is somewhat like an omelet, however unlike the French omelet, the frittata requires no flipping or folding.

Heirloom Tomato Frittata

Ingredients

2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
8 Large eggs
3 Tablespoons finely grated Parmesan
2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 Teaspoons fresh thyme leaves (more for garnish)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 Pounds ripe heirloom tomatoes, cored, cut crosswise into 1/4′ slices

Directions

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Grease 12-inch cast-iron skillet with unsalted butter making sure to grease up the sides. Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Lightly beat eggs in a medium mixing bowl. Stir in cheese, garlic, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. When butter is melted, pour egg mixture into pan and cook until eggs begin to turn golden brown around the edges. Arrange tomato slices on top of egg mixture. Allow some slices to sink if they want to.

Transfer skillet to oven and bake frittata until eggs are just set in the center, 8–10 minutes. If desired, turn on broiler for a 3 to 4 minutes to give the top a deeper brown. When eggs are set and frittata is browned to your preferred doneness, loosen frittata from pan and slide onto a warm platter. Garnish with a sprig or two of thyme or with additional fresh thyme leaves, slice, and serve warm or at room temperature.

Shakshuka: Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce

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My daughter and her boyfriend visited this weekend. My son also joined us on Sunday to start the day with Bloody Marys and a light breakfast. Breakfast this weekend was shakshuka.

Although usually thought of as an Israeli breakfast food, variations of shakshuka can be found in the cuisines of many other cultures including the Middle Eastern and North African countries of Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, Morocco, and Egypt. Shakshuka style dishes can be found in other parts of the world too; the Mexican huevos rancheros is a similar dish. Eggs may be the featured ingredient, but shaksuka is often enjoyed at other meals.

This flavorful one-skillet dish is comprised of onion, jalapeño, tomatoes, and eggs topped with feta and flat leafed parsley. It’s a great way to serve a large group a delicious breakfast in a relative quick and easy way with very few dirty dishes. Shakshuka is typically prepared and served in a cast iron skillet. Pita or another flat bread is a common accompaniment.

Here is what I did:

Shakshuka

Ingredients

1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 jalapeños, stemmed, seeded, and finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, crushed
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon. paprika
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled San Marzano style tomatoes, undrained
8 – 10 eggs
Kosher salt, to taste
1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
Warm pita for serving

Directions

Heat oil in a 12″ cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Add jalapeño and onions and cook until soft and golden brown stirring frequently; about 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and cook about 2 more minutes until garlic is soft. Then add cumin and paprika. Cook, stirring frequently, until seasonings become fragrant; about 2 additional minutes.

Add tomatoes and their liquid into the skillet and crush them while mixing them up with the other ingredients. Stir in a 1⁄2 cup water and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened slightly, about 20 minutes. Season sauce with salt.

Crack the eggs into the sauce evenly distributing them around the skillet. Cover skillet and cook until yolks are just set, about 5 to 10 minutes depending on desired doneness of the eggs. Remember that the eggs will continue to set after removing from the heat.

Sprinkle shakshuka with feta and parsley and serve with pita for dipping.

Grilled Eggplant and Tomatoes with Rustic Kale Pesto

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Nine months since my last post. I am so very sorry. I have been busy honing my improv and taking an acting class at TCR. During this time I have been creating and cooking many, many things. I just haven’t had the time to blog them and I have quite a backlog. I will try to blog at least once a week again.

Here’s my latest creation.

This is a great late summer meal. All of these ingredients should be readily available this time of year at your farmer’s market or in your garden.

Ingredients

Pesto
8 – 10 larger leaves of Kale (about 2 – 3 cups finely chopped)
4 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
¼ Cup Pine Nuts (Toasted)
¼ Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano (Freshly Grated)
Olive Oil
Grey Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Eggplant and Tomatoes
2 Larger Eggplants
4 Medium or 2 Larger Tomatoes (I prefer a heirloom tomato)
Kosher Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper

Directions

Pesto
Toast pine nuts in skillet until lightly browned. Let them cool, coarsely chop them and set aside. Remove the thick, center rib from the kale. Next, chop kale into a fairly fine cut. The best way to accomplish this is to use a chiffonade technique to cut the kale into thin strips and then cross-cutting it into finer pieces. Mince garlic and add to kale along with pine nuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir in olive oil using just enough to thoroughly coat all ingredients. Season to taste with grey sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

Eggplant and Tomatoes
Preheat grill to high heat. You will reduce heat to low a few minutes before placing the eggplant on the grill. Slice eggplant and tomatoes into ½ inch thick slices. Brush eggplant with olive oil then season with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Season tomatoes with kosher salt and a little black pepper. Grill eggplant over low heat for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Grill tomatoes over low heat for 2 to 3 minutes per side.

Plating
Place eggplant first followed by tomato. Then top with kale pesto. Enjoy!

Tomato Salad — Exceptionally Quick… Exceptionally Good

I arrived home very late tonight so it was a quick meal of pasta with the left over Pesto di Noce from Monday night. Susan and I were still just a little hungry after the pasta so she suggested that I cut up some tomatoes and drizzle some olive oil over them. That smart young lady got me thinking. Why not chiffonade some basil and mix that in too. In less than five minutes we had a delicious tomato salad.

Here’s all there is to it:

Cut up in somewhat large chunks your favorite tomatoes. I used Romas as that is what I had. I wish I could say they were fresh from my garden but July’s tempest did my tomatoes in. Chiffonade some basil and sprinkle it on top. Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil over the basil and tomato. Sprinkle a little kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. A little shredded Parmesan and there you go; a tasty tomato salad!

Eating well doesn’t have to take a lot of time or money… Which reminds me, are you taking Slow Food USA’s $5 Challenge September 17?