One of the things I love doing more than experimenting with new recipes is cooking for friends and family. A couple of weekends ago, we invited good friends over for brunch. Mind you, I’ve never prepared a brunch before, but how hard can it be, right? So, I started brainstorming recipes; hearty Italian recipes that even an almost 2-year-old would eat (their daughter is the cutest thing on the planet). I settled on frittata [I had just scored 12 local and organic eggs] – focaccia (just like this one), some bruschette and carrot muffins.
Francesco is a master frittata maker and I gladly left that task to him. We decided to have one veggie frittata – with asparagus – and a meaty one – with bacon – to satisfy all appetites.
Although it could seem a bit intimidating, a frittata is just like an easy omelet.
- First, prep the eggs. We used two whole eggs and one egg white and added salt, pepper and 1/2 teaspoon of smoked paprika, because it gives the dish an extra layer of flavor and because it’s one of my favorite spices. Add a little milk and whisk all the ingredients together.
- For either frittata, we heated a non-stick pan (very important!) with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil and sauteed the asparagus until tender and the bacon until slightly brown. In both frittate with added scallions for crunch and flavor.
- Pour the egg mixture in the pan making sure it covers the vegetables or the bacon. Add some Gruyere cheese.
- Let the eggs cook for a few minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the frittata and let it cook for at least 5 minutes.
- Serve warn. Sprinkle diced scallions as garnish.
Le bruschette are, to me, the quintessential summer snack or appetizer. If you have some cherry tomatoes in the fridge, a few kalamata olives, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, you are in business.
Toast the bread, add fresh garlic by grating each clove on the grilled or toasted bread slice and add the tomatoes. It’s colorful, healthy, fresh and quick – definitely a winner in my kitchen.
I was living in Naples, Italy when I tasted the best bruschette. It’s should not have come as a surprise since the Campania region has the juiciest and flavorful cherry tomatoes in the world. In a perfect bruschetta, the bread is soggy from the tomato juice and the garlic is so fresh, it is almost spicy.
What are you got-to brunch recipes?