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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Urban farming

I’m moving out of the city to go work on a farm, but it turns out you don’t have to. Urban farming is a burgeoning movement here in Seattle and all around the country.  Seattle mayor Mike McGinn has even declared 2010 to be the “year of urban agriculture” here.

Last night I went to a talk by Will Allen, the founder of Growing Power, a successful urban farm in Milwaukee, WI. Will reiterated the importance of growing more food where people live instead of trucking it all in from rural farms. A quote: “We need 50 million more people growing food, on porches, in pots, in side yards.” The concept is apparently taking off in Detroit as well, a city with plenty of vacant land to spare right now.

Here in Seattle, I’ve been working with an amazing group of people called Harvest Collective, which is one of several groups doing urban farming in our city. They form partnerships with landowners in the city in which the group grows food on many properties and the property owners each get a share of the collective harvest. If I wasn’t moving out to Bainbridge, I would be joining this group as a full member, and perhaps I will when I’m done with the apprenticeship. For the moment I’ve been volunteering with them a little bit and enjoying spending time with them.

I don’t necessarily believe *all* of what we eat can or even should come from our own city, but certainly some amount can. There are so many benefits: putting empty backyards to functional use, enjoying extremely fresh and local veggies/fruit/eggs, cutting down on food transportation costs, and allowing people to live in the city and still do agriculture.

All the ingredients are there: people with land, people who want to grow food, and people who want to eat locally-grown food. With enough momentum, we could start to see a really fundamental shift in the way our food system works in cities. It’s exciting to see this happening and to be involved in some small part of it.

Jammin’

Jammy jam

My first time making jam! Made strawberry jam and canned it using a boiling water bath. It was fun and easy.

I had ordered a “canning kit” from Amazon which included a jar lifter, lid lifter, and some other equipment to make the process easier.

Ingredients: crushed strawberries (thawed from frozen), sugar, lemon juice, and pectin.

I forgot to take pics during the jam-making process but here is the final result.

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Then I baked some oat/wheat bread (with ground wheatberries from the Nash’s trip!)

Ingredients: bread flour, whole wheat flour, wheat germ, wheat gluten, rolled oats, honey, milk, yeast, butter, and salt.

It turned out pretty well but I’m still going to do some more experimenting .

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Delicious homemade bread and jam!

Bread & jam