Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eggplant and summer squash frittata recipe

Eggplant and summer squash frittataWhile contemplating my year of blogging, I was reminded that my take on food was dramatically changed about a year ago when I read Barbara Kingsolver's "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle." Her stories about her family's year of eating almost exclusively things that they produced or that were available from the local community inspired me to focus more on the foods that are available to me from my community. I'm very lucky to live in a place with fabulous farmers' markets, several dairies, and sources of almost every type of meat that comes to mind. This year I've taken full advantage of this, and all of my animal products (with the exception of yogurt and a few types of cheese that aren't available) have come from local farms. Now that summer is in full swing, I would say that I get about 90% of my produce from the farmers' market. Perhaps I'm spending a little bit more money, but it's worth it to me to be able to interact with the farmers, know that the animals aren't being mistreated and the food isn't being sprayed with toxic chemicals, and have the opportunity to enjoy the amazing tastes that are only available when food is in season and hasn't been shipped around the world. Plus, I love being able to avoid the anxiety-inducing grocery stores as much as possible.

In honor of my blogiversary, I decided to reread "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" now that I've become more of a locavore (though still not nearly to the degree of Kingsolver's family). I can relate to many of her stories and she definitely has a way of making the labors of farming hysterical, but one part stuck out to me. She talks about how it's ok to stuff your face with each type of fruit or vegetable as it comes into season - each one will only be available for a short time, and you must enjoy it while you can. I definitely didn't understand this way of approaching food when I read the book last year, but now I know what she means. Now that so many things are available at the market, I'm eating up a storm. Melons, blueberries, peaches, apples, peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, corn, eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, and a host of other options are at my fingertips. I can't imagine a better smorgasbord.

So, it seemed only natural to include a "local" dish in the brunch that I made to commemorate my blogiversary and Dad's birthday. I use the quotes because my parents brought the eggs from Florida (Mom's boss has a flock of chickens) and the tomatoes from my grandparents' garden in Georgia, and I picked up the eggplant and zucchini from a farmer at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. But, in essence, I knew where all of the food came from, and there weren't any special trips to get the food to my kitchen.

Eggplant and summer squash frittata

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
1 medium yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise and chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 eggs (mine were mostly small, so 6 or 7 L or XL might be enough)
1 tsp turmeric
salt and pepper to taste
1 tomato, sliced (optional)

Heat oil over medium heat in a large oven-safe skillet. Saute eggplant, squash, and garlic until they are tender, adding more oil if necessary. Whisk eggs, turmeric, and salt and pepper together in a bowl, and pour them into the skillet. Rotate the skillet so that eggs spread out evenly, and then let it cook until eggs are mostly set (about 8 min). Then put the skillet in the oven and bake at 350 until eggs are cooked through (about 10 min). Garnish with tomato slices. Serves 6.

I really enjoyed this frittata. It came about via my favorite way of creating recipes: think of everything you have available, and throw it all together in a pan. I can't remember ever having eggs and eggplant together, but I love the combination! The delicious tomato was the perfect addition, as well. Another thing that I learned this year is that if you're using quality ingredients, simple is often better. Let them speak for themselves.


Snowbell said...

This looks yummy!

Anonymous said...

Happy blogiversary, and what a great way to celebrate it!

Katie said...

Thanks, Snowbell and Alta!!