Tag Archives: herbs

Summer frittata

For the last few weeks we’ve been getting our eggs from a smallholder in the village- and very good they are,too. It’s weird because knowing that the hens are having a good life just a couple of fields away, pecking around, tucking into all sorts of kitchen scraps, gossiping with each other(maybe) and generally enjoying the good life makes the eggs seem much more precious and somehow more real than if I grabbed a dozen from the supermarket shelves. I was going to make a simple omelette last night for supper but then I suddenly remembered a recipe for an oven baked frittata given to me by my neighbour Nicole when we lived in France. She made it for our annual village picnic and passed it down the table for us all to try. And very good it was, too. I have to admit I have messed around with it a bit but it’s no worse for that. I have courgettes and herbs in my garden, cherry tomatoes from the farmers market and I’ve added a few sliced cooked new potatoes because everything’s better with a bit of spud(you can take the girl out of Ireland etc)
This recipe serves 2-3 but if you want to double it go ahead as it’s just as nice the next day and makes perfect picnic food.

Nicole’s picnic frittata

FullSizeRender (2)
2 small courgettes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp cornflour
150ml milk
6 eggs, beaten
150ml single cream
75g mature cheddar, grated
3-4 cooked sliced new potatoes
150g cherry tomatoes, quartered
handful fresh summer herbs, such as basil, chives, tarragon, parsley
salt and pepper

1 Heat the oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. Line a 20x30cm oblong tin with baking paper. Dice the courgettes and cook in the oil for a few minutes until just softened and starting to colour.
2 Blend the cornflour with a little of the milk in a jug, then add the rest of the milk, the eggs, cream and cheese. Season well with salt and pepper then pour into the tin. Scatter over the potatoes,courgettes, tomatoes and herbs.
3 Bake for 20-25 mins until golden on top and firm to the touch. Cool for 10 mins before cutting into squares, or leave to cool and eat at room temperature.

A growing problem

P1040285 P1040290 P1040288

New Year, new country…

So after 10 wonderful years living and working in France we shut the doors of our cookschool and chambre d’hote, waved goodbye to our riverside home and at the end of February landed in North Somerset for the start of a new adventure. While waiting to move into our new home we are currently living in a boring-as-bat-shit modern townhouse with just a gravel yard out back barely big enough to swing our little dog Lily(she loves it). After six weeks of this my green fingers are itching so much I just had to grow something, no matter how small, and preferably edible.  

Before leaving France I picked up a few packets of salad seeds including Mesclun and wild rocket but I needn’t have bothered as I have found a good selection of mixed leaves in my local garden centre. Mr Fothergill http://www.mr-fothergills.co.uk/?gclid=CJO75pT58MQCFXDLtAodjlwAAA has a good selection and I even found some mizuna seeds in Homebase. So armed with my seeds and a couple of growbags I got planting. Cut out the three windows in each growbag and scatter a different salad variety thinly and evenly in each window. Give it a good water and if it looks like it might turn chilly cover each with an old newspaper to keep them cosy. The brilliant part is that even for the most impatient like me you get almost instant gratification. Within a week healthy shoots started to appear, a thrill every time even for the most experienced gardener. I’m hoping that in another couple of weeks I’ll be harvesting my first crop, and if I keep them well watered should get another couple of crops from the same seeds. While I was in the mood I also dragged a cast iron pot out of the garage and planted it up with herbs to add to my stash. I’ll keep you posted on progress and next time add a recipe to inspire you to get sowing, It;s good to be back.