Sunday, 3 August 2014

Fried & Toasted- Tried & Tested!

Frittata di Romanesco & Peperone Rossi Gratinata al Forno
Crispy-Baked Romanesco & Red Pepper Frittata


I would say that 90% of my dishes are super-easy to prepare... about that many are super-healthy to eat and just as much fun to make! Well... here is another of them for you! And a speedy, tasty, inexpensive yet impressive little crowd-pleaser it is too!

On my recent trip to Puglia in South Italy, strangely enough, it was the landlord of the B&B I was staying at, that showed me hoe they, or how HE makes his frittata... using quite a lot of bread crumbs to make the batter more substantial and filling. Though this was not a great revelation to me, it was just a little different and a lot more tasty to me. And so much better than it may sound... so of course I used a few more ingredients this evening and elaborated on it a little... and made up a version of my own!


Great to serve hot or cold, as a meal in itself or as a side dish, frittata's are a mainstay of Italian cuisine. And finished-off under the broiler, with a little salted Ricotta cheese and bread crumbs for some extra crunch... this one was extra delicious too!


Sadly, the usual shot of all the ingredients is missing, but here they are listed for you- you will see evidence in the following pictures though- no fear! I was lucky to find a little, grapefruit sized Romanesco cauliflower at the market yesterday- that was the main ingredient- along with 2 eggs, 1 small red pepper, 1 Spring onion, a half cup of breadcrumbs, a little milk,a little rosemary and a little nutmeg for seasoning. 

I suppose the equivalent amount of Romanesco if using a regular sized one would be a half. And as you can see, the first step is to cut away the stalk and to simply snap off the individual florets... don't use a knife, do it this way and you will avoid all of that crumbling from happening!


Of course it is colorful and impressive for that reason alone, but it's all about the flavors and how they work so well together... so again- trust me! It tastes better than it looks!


Turn on you oven to get it nice and hat, start the Romanesco boiling in plenty of salted water- and in the meantime, finely chop the pepper, the Spring onion and pluck a sprig of rosemary clean, ready to fry in a little butter until everything begins to soften a little- just 4-5 minutes.


After the Romanesco has boiled for 5-6 minutes, drain it well and add it to the peppers, rosemary and onion. get everything nicely mixed, let them cook together for another couple of minutes and then set them to one side to cool off for 4-5 minutes, whilst you prepare the batter.

The batter consisted of the 2 eggs, half cup of breadcrumbs, 1 tablespoon of grated, salted-Ricotta cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. I added a splash of milk to this and whisked it together... the consistency should be like that of a smooth yogurt.


Pour the batter into a pan and then arrange the broccoli on top first, followed by all of that yummy red pepper, onion and rosemary. If needs be, press it down into the batter, so that you will be sure that everything will bind and cook together.


Fry on the stove top for 3-4 minutes, then scatter with a little coarsely grated salted Ricotta, sprinkle with bread crumbs, season with pepper and drizzle lightly with just a dash of olive oil... and into a hot oven it goes for 10-15 minutes until it is crispy and golden brown.


Now that's a mighty-fine looking frittata right there, I'd say!


Allow the frittata to sit and rest and firm-up for 4-5 minutes before removing from the pan and serving... if you can wait that long, that is!


And although the ingredients are so simple- I do have to say that this has been one of my favorites to date! it is just really, really good- so much better than most bland and ordinary cauliflower dishes... this is a little more rock'n'roll!


I think I shall have to make a larger on next time... I have no left-overs for tomorrow!

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