On Your Mark Get Set: Pick a Pepper, Any Pepper
by Sarah A. Maine
Brianna really raised the bar last week with her dairy and gluten free interpretation of Moussaka, I have to admit it left me feeling a little intimidated! I had leeks, tomatoes, and peppers in abundant supply but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to use them. The default path would be to make a tomato based dish – some kind of lasagna or eggplant Parmesan – but I just wasn’t feeling it. I wanted to find a slightly different way to bring about a tasty result. The main focus of my dish would be peppers – a pile of them had arrived in my CSA box and no matter how many salads I made the pile did not seem to be getting any smaller. Peppers are actually not very well represented in cookbooks, the standard uses are stuffed, sautéed, grilled, or used fresh in salads; most of my cookbooks only feature one or two recipes, none of which really excited me. I wasn’t making very much progress coming up with a creative peppery modification of Brianna’s recipe.
I decided to stop thinking about peppers. As soon as I did I hit upon the idea of making a frittata – one of my all time favorite dishes. A frittata is sort of like a big, thick omelet that is finished off in the oven under the broiler. Frittatas are tasty, easy to make and infinitely variable – as long as you have eggs and an array of other ingredients you are good to go. I often cook a frittata in order to use up stray leftover veggies that are hanging around forlornly in the refrigerator. Another great thing about a frittata is that you can cook it and serve it right away or you can cook it ahead of time and serve it cold, it makes a great centerpiece for a meal as well as delicious finger food for a cocktail party. The key to a good frittata is to achieve the right balance of stove-top vs. broiler cooking. By starting the frittata on the stove-top the eggs acquire a light and fluffy character, while the broiler finishes it off by adding a firmness and a golden brown crisp to the top – an all around awesome combination. I’m off to put my frittata plan into action – see you back here on Thursday with the completed recipe!