I have a lot of respect for traditional cooking techniques. Time-honoured recipes which have been practiced and refined over lifetimes, using what is seasonally and locally available. In the eternal search for grain free breakfast recipes, I’ve investigated traditional breakfasts of cultures around the world for inspiration. The breakfast I keep coming back to is my frittata with capsicum, tomatoes, silverbeet and basil, with an organic decaffeinated coffee, made on my Bialetti stovetop coffee maker. I learnt from my relatives in Italy about making coffee, and after I came back to Australia, immediately purchased exactly the same model my relatives in Italy use to make theirs. It does make a lovely coffee, especially if you use good quality coffee ground to the correct fineness, and I now prefer my home made coffee to most of those I have when I’m out.
This recipe is inspired by traditional Italian cooking techniques, where seasonally available vegetables and/or other ingredients, such as leftovers, are panfried with eggs. My recipe is also inspired by the beautiful capsciums, tomatoes and silverbeet that I’ve been buying from the local growers at the Gold Coast Organic farmers markets. I have fresh basil in my garden, and also at the moment can get fresh basil and thyme from Harvest. There is no comparison between the wonderful taste of the vegetables from the farmers markets and the imposter vegetables going by the same name sold in the supermarket. You can taste the sun which has naturally ripened and grown the organic vegetables and the rich earth they have been grown in. I also use organic, free range eggs that I get from the Gold Coast Farmers markets. The bright yellowness of the yolk shows the chickens actually are free to range and eat grass!
You can change this recipe to suit what ingredients you have on hand, and what is seasonally and locally available where you live. Enjoy!
Fritatta with shallots, capscium, tomatoes, silverbeet, thyme and basil
2-3 Organic, free range eggs
Red capscium – 1 handful, cut into thick chunks
1 medium tomato – very ripe, preferably organic, vine ripened, sliced
Shallots – 2 handfuls, sliced into approximately 1 cm pieces
Silverbeet – 1 leaf, shredded (remove white stalk)
1 sprig fresh organic thyme or 1/2 tsp dried
1 handful of fresh basil, chopped
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Drizzle your olive oil into a non stick frying pan – I use a 20cm Neoflam pan.
2. After tipping the pan to get the oil to cover most of the bottom, put in your tomato slices, chopped capscium and thyme. Turn on the heat to medium, put a lid on, and cook for around 5 minutes.
3. Add in the shallots and chopped basil, cover with the lid, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, depending on how well you like your vegetables cooked. You may need to turn your stove down if it gets quite hot.
4. Add in the silverbeet, and drizzle in a little water if the pan is dry.
5. While the silverbeet is cooking, whisk your eggs in a bowl.
6. After the silverbeet is cooked (it should be soft and still quite bright green), pour in your eggs, and put the lid on.
7. Cook until the egg is cooked through – you’ll need to keep watching it, it only takes a few minutes if your stovetop is reasonably hot. Because you have the lid on, and it is a small quantity, I find that it cooks right through and doesn’t need flipping or browning in the oven.
8. Using the widest egg flip you have, lift the frittata out onto the plate. Season with freshly ground black pepper, sea salt and a squeeze of lemon juice if you like. Enjoy!