At the moment, seasonal produce is abundant and amazing. I'm talking beets, apples, berries, plums, squashes, late zucchinis. Things that don't even exist in Australia, like damson plums and Bramley apples. Roadside blackberries were a big hit last week.
Australia is wonderful for so many fruit and veg (hello $10 trays of mangoes in summer) but Brisbane especially lacks a distinct set of seasons. While there are some star-players that signal the shifting of the year (like stone fruit in summer) you often miss out of the subtle changes in produce that match the changing weather.
So to say that I'm enjoying the beginnings of autumn's harvest here in Edinburgh would be probably the biggest understatement this year. It's inspiring and engaging, and I'm finding that it's connecting me to the food I'm making just that little bit more. (Also to the changing leaves, and the cooler air.)
This frittata celebrates the coming of autumn produce. Frittatas might normally indulge summer a little more (tomatoes, zucchini, etc) but these delicately steamed bright beets and parsnips work just as well for me. I've opted to steam the root veg, because the texture of roasted parsnip (though very chewy and crunchy and tasty) just didn't work for me in the context of a frittata. Of course, this recipe will work with any veg you have lying around (especially if you've got leftover roast vegetables!).
Despite the impression the recipes I post here might give, organic eggs from pastured hens are a daily appearance in our meals. Over the past year I've come to realised that the consequences of soy, legumes and beans are not something my body can manage on a daily basis, which makes protein intake for me truly difficult. Organic eggs are one of the easiest, cheapest and kindest solutions for me. I want the yolks in the eggs we eat to be electric yellow: this means that the hens have been grazing on lots of pasture (it's the omega-3s in the grass which makes the yolks so yellow).
Anyway, this is a delicious light lunch or supper, and could be made all the more heartier with the addition of some crusty bread or a cooked grain on the side.
Happy eating x
BRIGHT BEET + PARSNIP CHÈVRE FRITTATA
serves 44 small-medium coloured beetroots
4 small-medium parnsips
handful of spinach
4 organic eggs
5 tbsp milk of choice
50 g chèvre (medium-hard goat's milk cheese)
salt and pepper
small handful of chopped herbs: thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil or parsley would all be delicious
Preheat oven to 180C. Lightly oil an 8inch circular baking dish and set aside. Thoroughly scrub beets + parsnips. Set a large pot with 1 inch of water over medium heat, cover and bring to boil. Meanwhile, top and tail the beets + parsnips, then dice into 1/2 inch cubes (you want them to be roughly the same size so they cook in the same time). Place diced roots into a sieve or colander, open your steaming saucepan, pop the sieve/colander over the rim and put the lid on (you could also use a bamboo steamer). Steam for 10 minutes. The parsnips will be a little softer than the beets but that's totally ok.
Remove the roots from the steamer and pour out onto a plate to cool for a few minutes while you get everything else ready. Lay your handful of spinach in the bottom of your baking dish. Beat the eggs with your milk until thoroughly combined, and season with salt, pepper and herbs. Lay the steamed roots over the spinach, then dot with small blobs of chèvre. Pour over the egg mixture, so that it comes up to just below the rim of the baking dish.
Carefully transfer your baking dish into the oven and cook for 15 minutes, then reduce heat to 140C and bake for a further 10 minutes. It's done when the centre of the frittata no longer wobbles when you shake the dish gently, and the chèvre is golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes, this makes it easier to get out of the dish. Slice into quarters. Serve with a generous handful of salad leaves. Leftovers will store in the fridge for 2-3 days.