I love eggs. There's no two ways about it. I can't think of any incarnation of eggyness that I would turn down - and I've always said to Son & heir that you won't go hungry all the time there's an egg in the house.
Hubby, however, is a different story. He has a valid reason (two, in fact) for his reticence towards embracing the loveliness that is all things egg. When he was just a little chap, he suffered a collapsed lung following on from eating an egg. Now he admits that it may not have been the egg that did it, but as there was nothing else to blame at the time, the egg copped it. He also has a big texture issue. He can cope with runny egg yolk, but that's it. No solidity to the egg yolk and certainly not the white of the egg. These two things bring a quite marked reaction in his ability to keep the food down. If you understand what I'm not saying, here.
However, he will happily chomp his way through an Impossible Quiche, or any pastry-based Quiche and will even contemplate an omelette on occasion. Eggs in baking are okay too, as they just become a part of a whole and are indistinguishable in their form. The same goes for meringue, however that's pretty much off the menu list owing to the sugar content. Eggs in custard are fine - but not a custard tart, as that switches on the texture alert.
Now I like to include eggs in our diet on a regular basis as they are so good for you. Low in fat, high in protein, they're the perfect little package. So, when I saw the recipe for this Mediterranean Frittata on www.food4two.wordpress.com and realised that it didn't contain any potato (which hubby has had more than enough of in his life, already), I was very keen to make it. Needless to say, I love any kind of frittata and am famous for making one which contained defrosted oven chips as its potato component. It works, if you're brave enough to try!
This little frittata is really lovely. We all felt that it lacked a little in substance (which is where the potato comes in) and when I make it again (which I will) I'll include some sweet potato, or maybe butternut squash, together with mushrooms - which would be just fabulous with it.
I opted for Basil as my herb of choice, which naturally went very well with the courgette and sun dried tomato. One note on the courgette - instead of slicing it into rounds, I cut it into ribbons with a potato peeler. This was largely to camouflage it from Son & heir, who has declared a hatred of the poor old courgette. It worked, as he never noticed it and ventured the opinion that he liked it but for the sun dried tomatoes. Well, I'm quite prepared to admit that one can never win when trying to feed an almost-teenager.
Where the cheese was concerned, again owing to Son & heir's long list of dislikes I steered clear of Feta. Instead, I used a creamy and crumbly Cheshire cheese which has an almost lemony flavour and which went just beautifully with the remainder of the ingredients. When I mentioned the cheese to Son & heir he commented "there was cheese on it?" which I consider to be a positive, even though he didn't notice how lovely it was.
Yet another deviation from the original recipe was that instead of using green beans, I pressganged some leftover Tenderstem Broccoli into use. I honestly think that you can't go wrong with Tenderstem. Just cut it to the size that would be manageable in the recipe it's intended to work with and it does its job beautifully. Incidentally, asparagus would do a similar and just as tasty, job. I cut each piece of tenderstem into three - two pieces of stalk and one fluffy piece is far easier to handle than trying to manhandle a long piece of broccoli into the pan!
So the recipe I'm including here is my version of the original, which you will find if you click on the link to Food4two above. However, I'm quite sure that like a lot of these frittata recipes, anything along the veggie line that you would like to include would go just as nicely. The only thing you need to watch is that a) you don't make the mix too wet by putting something pulpy in it and b) that whatever you're including, goes well with its fellows.
MEDITTERANEAN FRITTATA (serves 4)
1 courgette, cut into ribbons
1 tbsp olive oil
a handful of Tenderstem broccoli, cut into 3 pieces
5 eggs (I used lovely Burford Brown eggs, just to make it a bit more special)
a handful of sliced basil
freshly ground black pepper
six or so halves of sun-dried tomato, chopped
75-100g of Cheshire cheese, crumbled.
1. In a deep frying pan, heat the olive oil and add the courgette slices. Fry gently until the courgette is tender.
2. At the same time, heat a saucepan of salted water to boiling and blanche the Tenderstem pieces for 3 minutes, then drain and reserve.
3. In a bowl, whisk the eggs with the basil and pepper. You can add a teensy pinch of salt, depending on how salty your cheese is. I opted not to do this, as the Cheshire cheese was quite salty enough.
4. Once the courgette is cooked, add the tenderstem pieces and the sun-dried tomatoes to the pan and pour over the egg.
5. Once you're happy that the vegetables are evenly spaced, add the cheese in crumbles over the top. You can push the bigger pieces down into the egg to secure them a little if you wish.
6. Cook on a medium heat for a few minutes - or until the bottom and sides have set. Then slide the pan under a hot grill for another 2-3 minutes until risen, golden and cooked through. There should be no wet egg visible if you press down in the middle of the frittata.
7. Serve warm with salad and crispy croutons.