cucinanicolina

Unexpected Bounty

20 June 2007


[Starting out on the Tomales Point trail, June 2007]

I have had a string of quite delicious days lately — a party on Sunday, with an old friend, lots of good cheese, and gin and tonics in the West Marin sun; a 9-mile hike out to Tomales Point and back, during which we saw herds of elk, wildflowers, and three (!) whales spouting and churning off the coast; and then yesterday a spontaneous trip to the Ferry Building Tuesday market where I bought vegetables (and a few fruits) with abandon.

My haul included:

fava beans
sugar snap peas
radishes
spinach
summer squash
2 bunches basil
chard
2 white peaches
2 nectarines

[all organic, and I think I only ended up paying about $15 for the lot.]

I eyed some blueberries and strawberries, but unfortunately decided to hold off because they were a little more pricey than what I had hoped to spend; I regret my prudence now, of course! I cut up the peaches last night and they were the perfect after-dinner (pasta, with two roasted tomatoes pureed with basil, onion, and garlic, vegetable broth, faux sausage, mushrooms, and favas cooked all together in a big pot for about 15 minutes) treat, no ice cream necessary.

I also indulged in some more vegetable love on Sunday, for Father’s Day breakfast. I rose early (well, 8:45) and stumbled into my parents’ kitchen to sleepily put on the coffee maker (essential, if one has not gotten her requisite eight hours). I whipped up some low-fat blueberry muffins (substituting oil for butter, non-fat milk for whole — remember, my dad is on a low-cholesterol diet), boiled red potatoes for home fries, and chopped red peppers, an onion, and mushrooms. Then, I made a frittata.

Now, a frittata made with egg whites might be all right, but would it be edible without cheese (a necessity, to keep it low-cholesterol)? Well, I took a chance. I thought that if I filled it with a variety of vegetables, it might be more palatable — and I was correct. In fact, I never even missed the cheese, which for me is saying a lot! With some warm muffins, a fry-up of potatoes, onion, and mushrooms, and a bowl of fresh pineapple and watermelon, this was a truly satisfying breakfast — even I wasn’t hungry again for at least four hours.

[Father’s Day frittata, June 2007]

Egg White Frittata with Vegetables

6 egg whites
splash non-fat milk
1 red pepper, seeded and diced
6 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 onion, finely chopped
handful spinach, washed and torn
herbs to taste

Beat the eggs with the milk and set aside. Saute the onion, mushroom, add the vegetables. Sprinkle in some herbs (I used herbs du provence, but basil would also be nice) and salt and pepper. In a frying pan, heat a splash of oil or a pat of margarine until melted. Cook the egg/vegetable mix on medium-low heat, pricking the top with a fork and using a spatula to lift up the bottom every so often. Cook until the bottom is lightly browned, the edges are coming away from the sides of the pan, and the top is set.

Slide the frittata onto a plate and cut into wedges. Serves four, probably with no leftovers.