Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Festive Fun Frittata

Frittata di Zucca al Forno, con Feta, Salvia e Cranberry
Oven-Baked Pumpkin Frittata with Feta Cheese, Sage & Cranberry

You have to admit- that is one mighty pretty looking frittata, right? And the best things about it are that it is totally easy to make and that it taste better than it looks! This was another of those dishes that "just happened"- where I checked the fridge for what was there, still had no plan- and then went into ""auto-pilot mode" and improvised this out of thin air... Yay! That's probably my favorite kind of meal anyway!

Pumpkin, sage and eggs were there, hunger was lurking in the shadows and I was tired- great ingredients for some creative cooking! With a little grated cheese and bread-crumbs, some chopped onion and parsley and that finishing sprinkle of Feta and cranberry, this was as much a feast for the eyes as it was for the taste-buds! And this is how I made it...

I started off by finely grating the pumpkin- a Hokkaido again, which meant that I could grate it peel and all, and spreading it out in a bowl. I tried to not apply too much pressure to it, as it is so delicate and squashes easily together. The amount I grated to make this yummy, thick, single serving was about 1 coffee mug full or pumpkin.

I then sprinkled about a third of a mug of bread crumbs onto the pumpkin and gently stirred them in- this helped to be able to mix the rest of the ingredients into the pumpkin without them clumping together. I added about half the amount of the bread crumbs in grated cheese- I used a last piece of scamorza in mine, but cheddar, gouda or emmentaler will be just fine- they will help to bind the mixture together.

I then added a good tablespoon of finely chopped parsley and about 1 teaspoon of  finely chopped sage leaves- that would be 2 nice, large leaves. The final ingredient was one small, finely sliced shallot. I seasoned with salt, pepper and nutmeg and then added the eggs- in this case, 2 was plenty for a single serving. Once everything was nicely mixed together, I poured the mixture out into a small non-stick pan and patted it down. I turned on the oven to full power to get it nice and hot and ready, but let the frying pan give the frittata a head start for 4-5 minutes on the stove top first.

I used my little trick of covering the handle of the frying pan with aluminum foil, so that it would be protected in the oven, and popped the frittata in for between 10-15 minutes at the highest setting... no pussy-footing here! We are probably all getting hungry now!

After 10-15 minutes in the oven, the pumpkin was cooked and nice and moist on the inside, but getting to be slightly brown on top... which meant it was time to do one more little thing before giving it a final couple of minutes under the broiler...

I took 4-5 nice sage leaves and drizzled them with olive oil, rubbing it in from both sides, then sprinkled them lightly with salt. These went on top of the frittata and then the whole shebang went back into the oven for 2-3 minutes under the broiler... time for the leaves to crisp up, and the crust to go nicely brown... and that was all there was to it!

As an extra treat, I added a small handful of crumble Feta cheese, then lay the crispy sage leaves on top and gave everything a dusting of nutmeg as well as coarsely-ground black pepper. And then the last finishing touch. Normally, I would add a light drizzle of honey to feta cheese, as its rich, salty flavor harmonizes wonderfully with something sweet... and as I had a little cranberry preserve and as it IS that time of the year... and as they did look beautiful- I decided to add just a little of that instead.... which turned out to be a great idea!

You can't get much prettier, you can't get much yummier and you would be hard pressed to find anything much easier... so all you have to do is to make yourself one of these babies! And if you do, I am sure that everyone will enjoy!

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