Saturday, August 27, 2011

Broccoli and Garlic Frittata

In preparation for Hurricane Irene, I've been dedicated to listening to the Scorpions for the past twenty-four hours on repeat. I also went out and bought toilet paper, batteries and wine. You could say this makes me uber prepared for any circumstances that might befall our area post storm. Yes, I am a moron. 
But on a more serious note, I'm pretty sure that this storm isn't going to hit Boston with its full force, and therefore, I'm just taking some minor precautions to make sure that I kind of empty out of my fridge of a few of the things that could go bad if we lose power. These items, luckily, include all of the things that will make a lovely broccoli and garlic frittata, topped with a good amount of sharp 2-year aged Grafton Cheddar from Vermont, and some delicious, salty Asiago cheese from the Foxboro Cheese Company which visits the Dewey Square Farmers Market that I love so much.
You may say at this point, why aren't you making a quiche? Why? Because there's a hurricane coming and I'm too lazy to make a pie dough. I hate making pie dough. It's intimidating and a ginormous pain in the butt. So, if you are anything like myself, you can bypass the entire hassle and still make a lovely dish in about a third of the time. So, sans flour, baking powder, etc for a crust, I set out to make my frittata with four duck eggs from Batcheller Hill Farms, about two cups worth of broccoli florets from Kimball Farm Fruit Stand, about a quarter of a cup of half and half from Richardson's Dairy, five big ol' cloves of garlic, salt, pepper, and the previously mentioned cheese.
First thing's first. Set a medium pot of salted water to boiling on the stove. In the meantime you can cut up your broccoli into bit sized florets. I also like to chop up a bit of the larger stems, which have a nice flavor, and will tender up quite well if you boil them with the rest of the broccoli. I minced up my cloves of garlic, and went ahead and grated about 3/4 of a cup of the Grafton Cheddar, and the same amount of the Asiago. At this time, I also whisked up the eggs with a little bit of salt and pepper and the quarter cup of half and half.
When the water boiled, it was time to unleash the florets. Four minutes in the bubbling water, and they were tender enough to drain and douse with cold water to stop the cooking. At this time, I threw the cooled broccoli in a bowl, and in a separate little frying pan, sauteed the garlic with about a tablespoon of butter. Two minutes after tossing those around, I emptied the contents of the frying pan into the bowl with the broccoli and gave everything a good toss. With this step, you're basically ensuring that when you throw the broccoli into the frittata, with each bite of broccoli, you're also getting a little bit of that fragrant garlic, and the butter never hurts. 
Broccoli cooked, it was now time to start the frittata. I took my smallest nonstick frying pan, gave it a liberal dose of cooking spray, and set it on a high on the stove. I also took this time to preheat my oven to 375 degrees. When the pan sizzled with a drop of water, I poured about an eighth of the egg mixture into the pan and swirled it around, basically creating the crust of the frittata. Once the egg had set, I placed in my broccoli and garlic mix, and then poured in the rest of the duck eggs and half and half. I let this heat up on the stove for about five minutes, and then threw it in the oven for about ten minutes.
Jiggle, jiggle goes the eggs... but not too jiggly. With the frittata nearing perfection, it was time to sprinkle on all of that beautiful grated cheese. Back into the oven for about ten minutes. The cheese melted, a fork stuck into the middle of the frittata revealed no liquid egg, and the pan could now be removed from the oven, and allowed to cool. (For a moment, I was distracted by all that bubbling cheese and burned my arm on the inside of the half open oven door. Just be warned, safety first, don't be seduced by the whispers of bubbling cheese.) 
This frittata is delicious. With a higher proportion of broccoli to egg, the flavor of the fresh broccoli, intermingled with fragrant garlic, and the texture of a fiberous vegetable intertwined with bits of fluffy buttery, creamy eggs is pretty fantastic. It tastes like broccoli, which when you have fresh broccoli, there's a really nice vegetable aroma, and texture similar to turnips that I'm sort of at a loss for describing. And then there's the melted sharp cheddar and salty asiago that complements the entire thing, adding a tangy, slightly funky, and overall wonderful decadence to the whole "healthy" dinner. By the way, you won't necessarily miss the crust of the quiche, because the frittata itself has a lovely little egg crust that formed from taking the care to coat the pan with your egg/half and half mixture prior to adding your vegetables. Not too bad for a meal in preparation for a hurricane. The Scorpions would approve, I'm sure.

Approximately 2 cups of fresh broccoli florets and stems
5 cloves garlic
4 duck eggs
1/4 cup half and half
3/4 cup of grated Grafton Cheddar
3/4 cup of Asiago 
Salt and pepper to taste 

Farms that contributed to this meal: Batcheller Hill Farms, Foxboro Cheese Company, Kimball Fruit Farm, Richardson Dairy FTW!

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