Friday, June 25, 2010
Friends, it's on! Summer is here, and with that comes amazing things out of the garden. And everything, it seems, is on steroids this year. Here on the Cape, things usually get a slow start....but sunny weather and warm temperatures, coupled with a mild spring have made produce large and in charge. There are armfuls of lettuce, tomatoes the size of melons, squash (already!), and pea vines, 10 feet tall! It really is a sight to behold.
Luckily, not only do we have our own little garden out back, but we belong to a CSA (or community supported agriculture), where we get a fantastic assortment of produce that we pick up weekly from Seaweed and Codfish Herb Farm. Veronica, the owner/operator/farmer, is a total character, and the first time we met her, she was tending her farm barefoot wearing only shorts and a bra (it was a really hot day). Certainly comfortable among her many chickens, goats, ducks, vegetable beds (and in her own skin), she's one of the few farmers on Cape Cod who grow lettuces all summer, as well as many other crops. When you go to her farm, not only will she show you around so you can meet her many furry and feathered friends, she will take you out to the garden so you can get your pick of lettuce and veggies, which she pulls up and picks for you on the spot. Talk about farm to table!
This evening we picked up edible flowers, red lettuce, boston lettuce, lambs tongue lettuce, 2 pounds of snap peas, a dozen eggs, 3 zucchini, 2 not-quite-ripe tomatoes (her first), kale, cippolini onions, mint, beets (with greens attached) and an herb bundle, that had parsley with leaves so big, they looked like they came out of the Jurassic era.
So what does one do with all that fantastic produce from the CSA basket? Well, for starters, because there is little choice in what you get, you're forced to try things you never have (kohlrabi anyone?), and challenge yourself with new recipes to use up things you have been eating in (over)abundance (kale anyone?). It can be difficult to eat it all up before the next batch arrives....in fact, I still have a kohlrabi languishing in the fridge from last week. But sometime this weekend, I shall make salad or slaw!
For tonight, we whipped up one dozen farm-fresh eggs and poured them over some of the freshly-picked veggies which were sauteed briefly in olive oil. It was a frittata of sorts (sounds so much fancier than baked eggs, doesn't it?), that was simple and perfect and even kind of elegant, especially when topped with a Jurassic parsley leaf. This could also double as an appetizer when cut into small squares and served at room temperature.
Farm Egg and Veggie Frittata
This simple yet elegant dish works well with just about any vegetable you have on hand. Try it with asparagus, or crook-neck squash, add crumbled cooked sausages or peppers...have fun and don't be afraid to experiment! Because eggs are the main ingredient, make sure they are the freshest possible.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: serves 6 as a main course
1 dozen eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream, half and half, or milk
1/2 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
2 zucchini, sliced into half moons
1/2 cup chopped onion
2 large handfuls of arugula, spinach or chopped young chard
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13 inch casserole dish. Set aside.
2. Beat the eggs, with salt, pepper and cream in a large mixing bowl until combined. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add zucchini, and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until zucchini becomes tender and onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the arugula (or whatever tender green you are using) and cook for 1-2 minutes more, or until it just begins to wilt.
4. Spread the veggies evenly out in the prepared 9x13 inch dish. Sprinkle over the cheese and then pour over the egg mixture.
5. Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until puffed slightly and cooked though in the middle.
6. Garnish with minced parsley and serve warm or at room temperature.