Farm fresh food: Garlic Scape Fritatta

A couple weeks ago, I found myself needing to make a quick potluck dish for a little get-together at Betsey’s. It wasn’t really an impromptu thing but (as usual) the time to cook had arrived I hadn’t taken the time to really plan out what dish I was making or go buy ingredients for any recipe.

Luckily, I didn’t need the grocery store. There were all the ingredients for a frittata right there in Betsey’s fields. The chickens contributed some amazingly orange-yolked eggs. We had a huge surplus of garlic scapes. I took home a couple of “seconds” potatoes and onions (not quite beautiful enough for market but still just as tasty). I added some spinach from my own garden. With salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and olive oil, you’ve got a farm-fresh frittata! I topped it off with some herbed chevre from Port Madison Creamery and a bit of Persephone Farm parsley. Yum!

It was so satisfying to see all the raw ingredients come straight out of the land, get combined into a really basic and wholesome dish, and then get eaten around the fire pit at Betsey’s. We grow our own food here. We work awfully hard at it, but the results are so worth it if we take the time to enjoy them.

Anyone with access to a farmers market can make this type of dish pretty much any time of year. The beauty of this fritatta is that it can be made with many combinations of ingredients. Get a dozen eggs and make sure they are from pastured chickens. Get some onions and/or garlic and potatoes (all three usually available at market year round). Add whatever else is in season, whether it’s spinach or zucchini or kale. Try to get some local cheese (I failed on that one as mine was from Trader Joe’s!)

Here’s the recipe and a few pictures:

Harvesting garlic scapes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups or so of potatoes, cut into very thin half-circles
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 8 or 10 garlic scapes, chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 lb spinach leaves, cleaned, chopped
  • 9 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp milk
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • fresh parsley, chopped (optional topping)
  • 3 oz goat cheese (optional topping)

Fritatta ingredients: eggs, spinach, onions, potatoes and garlic scapes.

Method

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • In a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  • Sauté scapes, onions, and potatoes in olive oil in an oven-proof, stick-free skillet, until cooked through, about 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat. Add a little water if they start to stick.
  • Throw spinach on top and mix in, cook til wilted.
  • Spread out spinach mixture evenly on bottom of skillet. Reduce heat to Medium. Pour egg mixture over spinach mixture. Use a spatula to lift up the spinach mixture along the sides of the pan to let egg mixture flow underneath.
  • Sprinkle bits of goat cheese over the top of the frittata mixture if desired. When the mixture is about half set, put the whole pan in the oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes, until frittata is puffy and golden.
  • Remove from oven with oven mitts and sprinkle with chopped parsley, if using. Let cool for several minutes.
  • Cut into 8 pieces and serve with fresh bread and a mixed greens salad!

Finished frittatta topped with parsley and chevre.

Fritatta as the centerpiece of a delicious meal.

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Tis “The Season”

When we started the internship we kept hearing the farmers talk about “the summer season” when things go crazy on the farm. Back in April, Betsey would take us all out for coffee in the middle of the morning, or Brian would treat us to ice cream after lunch. “Don’t get to used to this,” they would say, “it’s slow right now, we can take a break.” They were only half joking. “Wait til The Season kicks in,” I kept hearing. “Wait til the tomatoes come on. Everything’s going to change around here!”

April, May, and June seemed like a busy enough time to me! It was a lot of work learning new tasks every day, getting comfortable with the workings of the two farms, taking on more and more responibility, becoming more self-directed. I never felt like things were particularly slow during “the slow season.”

But now, just within the last two weeks, I can feel the change. “The Season” is upon us. Some indicators: the volume of produce at Brian’s stand increased dramatically so now we need to bring extra tents and tables. The variety increased a lot too- We have tomatoes and zucchini and cucumbers for sale now in addition to all the greens and carrots and springtime things. Betsey’s crops are starting to be ready for harvest now too; I got to dig potatoes for the first time this week. Garlic harvest is a huge project that will happen all at once this next week or so.

The summer is a time of sleep deprivation for Betsey and Brian and us interns too. The long days and warmer weather have done their job on the crops and there is a lot ready for harvest. If things don’t get picked at the right moment, they get over-mature and are no good for sale. Those vegetables don’t run on our time schedule – when they’re ready they’re ready and we need to harvest them. So the farmers pull long days and we apprentices try to help as much as we can. I’m burning the candle at both ends a bit; evidenced by the fact that I’m posting this at 1:15 am and I plan to be working at 7:30 tomorrow. Oopsies!

With so many things to do it’s easy to forget to take a moment and appreciate what is going on here: all our springtime work is starting to pay off. Seeds that we planted back in April grew into baby plants that we transplanted into the field in May and now we are harvesting broccoli. Crazy! As we ate some zucchini for dinner tonight Erin and I recalled how we had planted those plants into the greenhouse during the very first week of our apprenticeship. It is amazing to me that I’m able to be here doing this in this place with these people… I’m trying to savor every minute of it as it flies by ever faster. Here’s to summer- the tomato Season with all the work and all the bounty that it brings.

As always, new pictures here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/warnerbecky/