Egg pizza!

Egg pizza!

While the word ‘frittata’ is new for many people in North America, it is just one name among many different regional names for a dish that has been with humanity for a very long time. In essence, a frittata is an open face omelet that usually contains a mixture of vegetables and other ingredients cooked in a batter of scrambled eggs. There are some specific differences between a proper Italian frittata and other regional examples, such the Persian ‘kuku’, or the Arabic ‘ajjah’, but given our global culture I encourage you to experiment freely. Italian frittatas tend to have more egg relative to other ingredients, and are flipped over at some point during the cooking process, whereas both kuku and ajjah contain much less egg, and aren’t flipped over. Personally, I avoid flipping over a frittata because I dislike the crispy brown crust of overcooked egg.

I often find myself making a frittata for my family when I was otherwise unprepared for making dinner. Nobody took any meat out to thaw in the morning, and now everyone is hungry. Well, as long as we have eggs, vegetables, and some nice ripened cheese, I can make my ‘egg pizza’ in less than 30 minutes, beginning to end. And it’s so good, even those who normally hate eggs will eat this up without complaint!

IMG_1496

Ingredients
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
2 large tomatoes, chopped
1 head garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried basil
1 tsp. dried marjoram
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. dried sage
½ tsp. red chili
½ tsp. black pepper
½ tsp. salt
2-3 tbsp. butter or olive oil
1 dozen eggs, scrambled
½ cup pitted black olives, chopped
optional: ½ – 1 cup crumbled/grated cheese, e.g. romano, parmesan, feta, etc.

Directions
In a large cast iron pan at medium heat, add the butter or olive oil, and when it is hot, add the dried herbs and garlic. Stir this for a minute or so, and before the garlic changes color, add the onions and green pepper. Sauté the vegetables just until the onions become translucent, then add the zucchini and sauté this for a couple minutes. Add the scrambled eggs and turn down the heat down to low. Distribute the chopped tomato and black olives across the surface of the pan, and cover with cheese. If you have an oven, place the pan in a preheated oven at 350˚F/175˚C for 15-30 minutes, or until the eggs have completely risen, but before the surface browns too much. For variation, throw in some nice Italian chorizo, the leftover bacon from breakfast, or smoked salmon just before you add the eggs. If you don’t have an oven, you can also make this on the stove-top, by using a tight-fitting lid, and keeping the heat low so it doesn’t burn.

fritata

In Iran, ‘kuku sabzi’ is made in a similar fashion, using garlic or shallots, fried in ghee, later adding about four cups of chopped greens such as spinach, parsley, leek, cilantro and dill. Only half a dozen eggs or less are used when making kuku sabzi, just enough egg to bind it so it looks like a green frittata when it’s done. Top it with fresh crushed walnuts and a few barberries before serving.

12 culinary herbs… a free lecture

12 culinary herbs… a free lecture

Come join us on March 15th for 12 Culinary Herbs You Can’t Live Without, a casual and engaging evening with author and veteran practitioner Todd Caldecott. During this free lecture, Todd will introduce you to twelve important culinary herbs that everyone should know, providing a detailed review of their nutritional and phytochemical properties, as well as their culinary and medicinal uses. In this class, you will learn:

  • how to cook with these 12 herbs
  • what foods they go best with
  • how to prepare and use them as a medicine.

Date: March 15th, 2016
Time: 6pm PST

There is limited space available for this lecture, so register now!

 

Parvati’s delight

Parvati’s delight

The following recipe is taken from the book, Food As Medicine:

This sweet is named after the goddess of beauty and desire, a voluptuous Indian Aphrodite wedded to her Lord Shiva, himself represented by a giant lingam, or phallus. As the name suggests, this is meant to be an aphrodisiac food, but is also just a very pleasant dessert, perhaps with a little red wine after dinner for an intimate moment. The recipe has endless variations, depending on your desire.

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. (squares) of unsweetened chocolate
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • 2-3 tbsp. maca powder
  • 2 tbsp. clarified butter
  • 2 tbsp. ashwagandha powder, finely sieved
  • 2 tbsp. shatavari (tien men dong), finely sieved
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon powder, finely sieved
  • 1 tsp. cardamom powder, finely sieved
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg powder, finely sieved
  • 1 tsp. clove powder, finely sieved
  • 1 tsp. black pepper powder, finely sieved
  • rice or coconut flour, as needed

Directions
Melt chocolate and clarified butter together. Add powders of maca, ashwagandha, shatavari, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, clove and black pepper. Mix into the chocolate/ghee combination and simmer over a low heat for 10 minutes. Cool in pan until warm. Pour over honey in a separate bowl and mix well. Add tahini and mix into a dough, adding in a little rice or coconut flour if it seems too wet. Roll into half-inch sized balls and place on a plate in the freezer to cool. When it’s ready, roll the balls in some icing sugar, cocoa powder or licorice root powder. Keep cool, and enjoy. Dose is 2-4 chocolates, or more, depending on your plans for the evening…”