Saturday, July 28, 2012

Notes From Nikki-Summer Vegetable Frittata and more

Photo by Kiah Graham
Zucchini, Tomato, Roasted Corn, and Roasted Sweet Pepper Salad
Nothing says summer like this salad. Loaded with flavor and texture, and oh so refreshing. My family gobbled it right up. Works well alongside grilled meats, or all on it's on as a light lunch or dinner. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

1 super large zucchini, shredded into long thin strips (something like spaghetti) with a mandolin or vegetable peeler, and parboiled for just a few minutes (3-5) to soften and silken ever so slightly

2-3 pints cherry tomatoes, halved

3-4 ears of corn, roasted in a 400 degree oven until just starting to brown in spots (about 8-10 minutes, max), cooled and kernels removed

3 medium-large sweet peppers, roasted in a 400 degree oven until the skins are brown and bubbling in spots (15-20 minutes), cooled, seeded, and sliced

Generous handful of fresh basil leaves, torn

4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
1 T real maple syrup
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper

Shredded Parmigianno Reggianno cheese for topping

1. Toss together the zucchini, tomatoes, corn, peppers, and basil.
2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, and a bit of sea salt and pepper. Taste and adjust to your liking.
3. Toss the dressing with the salad mixture. Season with a bit of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust again.
4. Serve topped with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Serves 6

New Potatoes and French Beans with Shallots and Irish Bacon
Photo by Kiah Graham
One of my favorite food combinations is green beans and potatoes. Throw in some shallots and bacon and you have something reminiscent of divination, in my book. I chose uncured Irish bacon (not as fatty, and the flavor is superb), but you can use whatever bacon suits your fancy. The delightful little purple haricot verts from our Inverbrook share are perfect here (although they don't keep their pretty color once they're cooked), but any green bean will do. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

1 1/2-2 lbs. new potatoes, boiled until tender and the skins start to loosen and fall away
1/2 lb. haricot verts, stemmed and snapped in half
3-4 med-large shallots, thinly sliced or chopped
1/2 lb. uncured Irish bacon, finely chopped
3-4 garlic cloves, smashed and minced
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
Sour cream for topping (optional)
Chopped chives for garnish (parsley would work too)

1. Cook the bacon over medium heat in a large skillet until the fat is rendered. Add in the shallots and garlic and cook until the shallots are very soft and just starting to brown.
2. Toss in the beans and saute until firm tender.
3. Add the boiled potatoes to the mix, smashing and breaking them up with the back of a large spoon. You don't want mashed potatoes, just large chunks of potatoes mixed with the more smashed bits.
4. Season with sea salt and pepper, and taste and adjust.
5. Serve topped with a dollop of sour cream, a sprinkling of chopped chives, and some more fresh ground pepper.
Serves 4-6

Potato, Tomato, Sweet Pepper, Eggplant, and Summer Squash Frittata
Photo by Kiah Graham
I don't like to brag, but I'm somewhat famous for my frittatas in these parts. ;-) It might be because they tend to be my go to dish. They're so easy to whip together, and everyone seems to like them. Just about every ingredient in this one came from Inverbrook. The eggs, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, basil, and summer squash. This recipe can easily be doubled. I made two last night, and we saved the leftovers in the fridge. It served as a perfect lunch today. Feel free to play around with the ingredients, and use whatever you have on hand. You really can't mess this up. It's very forgiving. Enjoy!
1 dozen eggs, whisked together
1/2 lb of sweet Italian sausage, casing removed (optional, but it adds some pretty amazing flavor)
Glug of extra virgin olive oil (especially if you're not using the sausage)
1 small onion, chopped
1/2-3/4 lb boiled, new potatoes, sliced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
2 long, skinny sweet red peppers, seeded and chopped
1 long, skinny eggplant, thinly sliced
1 small-medim zyphyr squash, thinly sliced
Sea salt
Fresh ground pepper
A handful of chopped basil leaves
2 generous handfuls of shredded Parmigiana Reggianno

1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Cook the sausage over medium heat in a non-stick skillet or well-seasoned cast-iron pan, breaking it up into smallish pieces with a large spoon.
3. Once the sausage is cooked through, add the onion and saute until the onion has softened (add olive oil if there isn't enough fat in the pan or if you're not using sausage).
4. Toss in the eggplant, and saute until it starts to soften.
5. Add the squash to the mix, and continue sauteing until the squash is firm tender and the eggplant is soft.
6. Add in the potato slices, mixing the lot well, and season with sea salt and pepper to taste.
7. Pour the eggs over the mixture and shake the pan so that the ingredients even out well and are well-coated with egg.
8. Spread the tomatoes over the top in a single layer, and sprinkle with the basil leaves. Pat both down gently with your hand so that they sink into the eggs a bit.
9. Once the bottom is cooked, sprinkle the cheese over the top, and place in the oven under the broiler (not too close).
10. Keep a close eye on things, cooking until the top is cooked through, and the cheese is golden brown and bubbly (about 5-7 minutes).
11. Allow to cool a bit, and then slice it into eighths, like a pizza.
Serves 4-6

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