Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cohousing: The Best Restaurant in Town — Susie Shea

One of my favorite things about the folks in Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage is the food they make. When we joke about being “the best restaurant in town” it's only half-kidding. Of the dozens of meals I've had with these amateur chefs, I have yet to have a bad meal and I always come away inspired to make new dishes. It could be Edie's amazing rhubarb bars and Abby's blueberry cobbler at a meeting, or a spinach-and-feta salad with greens from somebody's yard, or perhaps tasty baked beans or a vegan chocolate-chocolate-chip cookie... (okay, now I'm hungry.)

Anyway, when I think about what to make for these potlucks, I always cook with these folks in mind – what can I make that will bring smiles to the faces of my neighbors but that won't take too much time or require special shopping trips? The answer often comes back to my old spring/summer reliable – the fritatta.

Fritattas are just cooked eggs, veggies and cheese. They're simple, and are the best way I've found to use up veggies, both those on the edge (wilty spinach or kale, bendy broccoli?) or that summer surplus that so many gardens seem to develop in August (drowning in tomatoes and zucchini?). Since we get a CSA box from one of our local farms that comes with a dozen eggs each week, we often have extra eggs to use up as well.

This also an amazingly flexible and forgiving recipe: you don't really need exact measurements or ingredients, and it can be served hot, cold or at room temperature. Put in whatever veggies you happen to have, whatever kind of cheese you like, increase or decrease amounts based on the volume of your baking dish or number of people you have to feed – once you've done it once or twice you won't even need to look at a recipe.

Susie's Coho Potluck Fritatta

butter and/or olive oil
salt & pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 375F.

2. Butter or oil a 9x13 baking dish (I recommend glass or ceramic)

3. In a large bowl, beat 10-12 eggs with a little milk or soymilk. Add salt pepper and herbs to taste (thyme, oregano, rosemary are all nice) and set aside.

4. Chop the veggies! Chop or rip up a large handful of fresh spinach or kale, and set aside. Chop up a large head of broccoli and two small zucchinis into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

5. Dice a large red onion and sauté in a bit of olive oil until slightly caramelized (I like to add a dash of balsamic vinegar here), then add your broccoli and zucchini.

6. When the broccoli and zucchini have cooked until they are soft but still a touch crunchy, turn off the heat, add your spinach to the pan and stir. Let sit for a few minutes until the spinach is wilty.

7. Grate a cup (or more!) of a tasty cheese. I like to use something sharp like Cabot “Racer's Edge” cheddar, or something creamy like a gouda or swiss.

8. Mix your vegetables and cheese in with your eggs, stirring until everything is well mixed, then pour into your greased pan. Make sure any protruding veggies are well coated with egg.

9. Pop it into the oven and bake until the egg is completely set and starting to brown at the edges of the pan. You should be able to poke a knife into the top and press to the side and see only firm tasty egg, no runny or overly gooey innards, and easily slide a knife around the outer edge of the fritatta.

10. Remove from the oven, serve warm, or let cool. Either way is delicious.

So what are your potluck “old faithfuls”?

1 comment:

  1. I love fritattas simply because they are so foolproof :) Thanks for sharing this recipe, and for recommending Cabot cheese!