Monday, April 5, 2010

Tomato and Bread Salad with Local Greens Frittata

I've discovered a few of the challenges about keeping a blog. First - Keeping my family away from the meal before I can photograph it. I have to get creative, "Hey, how about setting the table on the deck?! Go get the plates!" Meanwhile I quickly grab the photo-op.

This meal is locavore through and through. Almost all of this meal comes from local producers. All are within 5 miles of my home.

This is a tomato salad tossed with rustic garlic croutons and homemade goat cheese. Served with farm fresh eggs in a local greens Frittata.

Woodcrest Farms ( is just around the corner from my home. I get as much produces as I can from them. They are an organic, sustainable methods farm with the most amazing produce, meats, and eggs I've ever seen.

In this recipe, they supplied green onions, eggs, goat milk (for the goat cheese), collards, and kale. The herbs were from my own garden. I usually make the French bread but ran out of time this weekend and had to buy from a local grocery store.

Rustic Tomato and Bread Salad:
1/2 loaf good french bread torn into large chunks (day old works great)
2 - 3 teaspoons minced/macerated garlic
4 - 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/4 teaspoon table salt

4 good sized red tomatoes cored and cut into large bite-sized pieces (Carrboro Farmers' Market)
1 - 2 big green onions sliced thin on the diagonal
1 tablespoon lemon basil chopped fine
1 tablespoon sweet basil chopped fine
1 - 2 tablespoons spearmint chopped fine
1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon table salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons great balsamic vinegar
1 - 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 cup chunked up mild goat cheese or fresh mozarella (Woodcrest or Mapleview for the milk to make the cheese ahead of time.)

Toast the bread chunks for about 10 minutes at 375.

While the bread is toasting, prepare the remaining ingredients. In a large bowl, add the garlic, olive oil, and salt. Stir to combine. When the bread is golden and crispy, remove from the oven and immediately toss with the garlic olive oil. Set aside.

For the tomatoes, combine the tomatoes and the remaining ingredients. Set aside to get juicy. Toss lightly on occasion until ready to serve. Do not mix in the bread yet. Try not to break up the cheese.

For the Frittata:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter (Mapleview Farm)
8 eggs slightly beaten (Woodcrest)
1/4 cup whole milk (Mapleview)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1/3 cup green onion thinly sliced on the diagonal (Woodcrest)
1/2 cup collards/kale or combo sauteed with garlic (a box of frozen spinach thawed and squeezed of extra water is a good substitute) (Woodcrest)
1/2 cup feta crumbled
1/2 cup Parmesan ground (or Romano)

Preheat oven to 325. (Down from 375 for the bread.)

In an oven proof frying pan over medium heat melt butter. Add onions. Bring to a bright green color - do not cook through. Add greens or spinach if using.

Meanwhile, beat eggs with milk, salt, and pepper. Once vegetables are well heated through, spread them out in the pan. Carefully pour egg mixture over. Try to not disturb the greens mixture.

Sprinkle with Feta. Sprinkle with Parmesan.

Remove from the heat and immediately place in the oven for 20 minutes.

If the top does not brown to your liking, broil the Frittata for just a few minutes. Remove from heat. Let rest 5 minutes before serving. If it puffed up in the oven, it will relax over the next 5 minutes.

To serve:
Place a slice or two of Frittata on a plate.

Toss Tomato Salad with the Garlicky Bread. Heap a helping of the rustic tomato salad next to the Frittata.

Serve outside on a gorgeous warm day with a beautiful Sauvignon Blanc.

Promise of Spring

Whether it's getting the summer clothes from the attic for the kids or cutting those first lettuce leaves, there's something magical about the promise of warmer days.

I get a little crazy with seed organizing and recipe combing. My thoughts drift to 3' tall fresh herbs and little kids with strawberry juice on their chins. Big, sweet laughing smiles that come up all the way from the soles of their feet. Only the bright, gleaming warm sun dares to compete.

Maybe it's both. Maybe the best expression of the promise of spring is through our children. Oh how the local produce of spring sings with the same excitement!

Clean, fresh, crisp bib leaf from the local Carrboro Farmers' Market brings on the Spring madness anew. Thoughts of fresh lettuce wraps on the deck while the grill's going bring on a craving for spectacular Sauvignon Blanc at the end of a gorgeous Spring day.