Sunday, 3 August 2014

Asparagus and Cambozola Frittata with Focaccia

This dinner was a challenge as I was in serious need of a trip to the produce store. The only vegetables, literally, in the fridge were some asparagus, roasted red pepper and a tomato. But there were lots of eggs, and some cambozola cheese, so frittata it was. I made some focaccia to round out the meal, using a variation on the Focaccia with Caramelized Onion and Rosemary recipe.

Start with the focaccia, as it needs to proof and bake, whereas the frittata doesn't take long at all.

First prepare the sundried tomatoes and herbs for the focaccia.

Drain about 1/2 cup of sundried tomatoes in oil, reserving the oil.

Roughly chop the drained tomatoes.
Chop the herbs, I used fresh basil and rosemary. You will need about 1/4 cup of herbs.

Put the yeast, sugar and warm water into your stand mixer bowl and allow it to start reacting. It will become foamy. That's when it's ready for the next step.

Add the herbs and chopped sundried tomatoes, the salt, and use the reserved sundried tomato oil (add olive oil to make up the required amount) as well as half the flour.

Using the dough hook, knead the dough, adding flour as needed until you have a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured board and knead until it is smooth and elastic, adding flour as needed.

Form the dough into a ball, and placed into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it to rise until it has doubled in size.

 This should take about 45 minutes to an hour. Lightly punch the dough down and press it into a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled.

Cover with a clean towel and leave to rise until almost to the top of the pan edge.

Lightly oil the top of the dough and sprinkle lightly with coarse salt.

Bake at 350F for 20 minutes. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes and then gently lift off the pan and allow it to cool on a rack.

For the frittata use a non-stick pan, about 8" or 9" diameter. Have the oven pre-heated at 350F.

Whisk together 8 eggs, with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the non-stick pan, and cook 1 minced shallot until starting to caramelize.

Add the asparagus spears, cut into 1" lengths. When they are half cooked, add the diced roasted red pepper and allow it to heat through.

Pour the eggs over, give it a quick stir to combine and evenly distribute the vegetables.

Keeping the heat at medium low continue until the eggs are set around the sides and just a little bit runny in the centre.

Top with the sliced tomatoes and cambozola cheese, season with salt and pepper.

Place in the oven to finish cooking the top of the eggs, and to melt the cheese. Switch to broil for the last few minutes, just to add some colour.

This serves 4 as a lunch or light dinner. Allow it to rest for a couple of minutes before carefully easing it out of the pan onto a cutting board  for portioning.

  • Instead of salt, sprinkle the focaccia with crumbled feta cheese.
  • Make extra focaccia and you have bread for sandwhiches the next day.
  • Use whatever vegetables and cheese you have available for the frittata, make it your own and enjoy the new combinations you come up with.
  • Turn the fritatta into a quiche by putting the cooked vegetables, egg and cheese into a tart shell and baking at 350F until set.

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