It started with this lovely Pippin. The idea for breakfast on Sunday had been revolving around in my head ever since I visited the beautiful Prevedelli Farms in Watsonville, CA. The selection of apples that day was fabulous, but I zeroed in on the tart, white fleshed heirloom Pippin and planned my frittata on the way home.
I had some delicious farm thick cut bacon in the freezer that I wanted to judiciously enjoy with my breakfast on Sunday. In my mind I poked around the produce drawer of my refrigerator and oh, yes, there was kale from the farmer’s market. So the frittata took shape with seasonal ease.
I know this breakfast seems to be tipping toward the autumn, but when you have seasonal heirloom apples in your hands, there is only one thing to do.
A frittata is such a nice complete breakfast item – sans the word casserole! Assembling the mise en place, or list of ingredients, prepared and ready to go into the pan in their predetermined order, is the first step, and once that is done, the whole breakfast is cooked and ready to eat in less than 15 minutes.
There is a frittata for every season, of course, but the joy in preparing it is in choosing what the featured ingredients will be. If you have access to farm-fresh eggs, your frittata will shine above any omelette you’ve ever had. At least, that is my opinion.
Don’t forget your nutmeg! When preparing dishes with egg as the base of the recipe, like custards, quiches, and the like, freshly grated nutmeg is a very important ingredient, as is white pepper. I learned this from the first chef under which I apprenticed. The dash of white pepper (not black) and the freshly grated nutmeg enhance in a very subtle but complex way the flavor of the egg dish. Sea salt, white pepper and fresh nutmeg. Don’t forget!
Cooking potatoes properly is a tricky thing. The potato does not break down and become uniformly soft like other vegetables do. The potato, maybe because of the starch, wants to hang on to it’s integrity longer than is good for most recipes when it is being combined with other ingredients. I almost always steam my potatoes for 10 minutes prior to adding them to the saute pan. This insures they cook evenly without excess heat and carbon build up in the pan. You will cook everything from start to finish for the frittata in the same pan, and so this is important.
Place the steamed potatoes, diced apples and diced yellow onion in the saute pan with a little olive oil on medium heat to slightly caramelize the ingredients. This should only take about 5-10 minutes.
After the ingredients have begun to cook, add the chopped fresh kale and stir to expose it to the heat at the bottom of the pan and wilt it into the other ingredients.
Last, add the chopped cooked bacon and a dusting of grated parmegianno-reggiano cheese .
While the pan is hot and the ingredients are hot, pour the custard mixture over the veggies. Allow the eggs to “set’ for a couple of minutes (it will not take long if the pan is hot when you pour them in. The heat of the veggies and the pan will cause the egg custard to begin to set up immediately.
The frittata goes into the oen for about 10 minutes (MAX) at 400 degrees.
When the egg custard is just set, pull it out of the oven and be ready to serve it while it is tender and inflated.
I think this simple “Breakfast on Sunday” menu will be perfect for a weeknight meal, too! My kids always loved “breakfast for dinner” as a special treat. Don’t tell them it’s healthy!!