Thursday, April 7, 2011

What to do with all these eggs?


Late spring is a terrible time for seasonal food. The pantry full of canned goods and dry goods is running low, and the littlest of seedlings are just beginning to poke out of the ground.

At this time of year I've been thinking a lot about Easter, Passover, and other springtime rites. All of those holidays are about re-birth, but with an undertone of violence and death. Eating in season and waiting anxiously for the food crops to return makes you realize how scary and yet how hopeful early spring was in the days when people couldn't fly produce from warmer climates year round.

But one food that's going gangbusters here in the BaltimoreDIY household: Eggs!

Notice the connection between Easter/Passover again? Yes, in early spring as the days begin to get longer, all of the chickens have started laying on the regular. No more of that two to three egg per day stuff... right now we're getting half a dozen a day!

So what to do with all those eggs? At Mill Valley (soon to be the Baltimore Food Coop) last week I purchased some organic potatoes and spring onions. Potatoes can be stored for several months in a cool basement and spring onions are one of the earliest vegetables available right now. Quite seasonal indeed!

I also picked up some feta cheese during a visit to the Amish market. I didn't have any particular food plans in mind at the time, but last night I realized that the ingredients were perfect for an oven-baked egg frittata.

The ingredients listed below are a rough estimate. You can adjust the ingredients according to what's on hand and the size of frittata you want to make. I used one dozen eggs and poured the frittata in a 9 x 9 pan, which took one hour to bake at 375 degrees.

Early Spring Egg Frittata

Half a dozen small potatoes
Half a block of feta cheese
One dozen eggs
One bunch of green onions
salt and pepper to taste

1. Wash potatoes and clean the ends off the green onions.

2. Roast potatoes. You can even do this ahead of time and bake the potatoes while you're baking something else in the oven, like an applesauce oatmeal bread. Then you don't have to deal with chopping hot potatoes.

3. Dice cooked potatoes, feta cheese, and green onions. You are welcome to change these ingredients or add more or less of them as you see fit.

4. Break eggs into a large bowl. You are also welcome to add a cup or so of cream, half and half, or milk to the eggs if you like. Beat eggs well.

5. Add potatoes, feta, and green onions to the eggs and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste (be careful with the salt if you added feta already.)

6. Oil a 9 x 9 pan with olive oil. Pour in frittata "batter."

7. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour, or until the center of the frittata is firm and an inserted knife comes out clean.

Don't worry: to cut back on cholesterol, I used six egg whites and six whole eggs. Adjust as you like. If you've got chickens, you can mix the yolks back in with some cooked grains and feed it back to the chickens!

This frittata would work great for a grain-free Passover meal or an Easter brunch.

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