The farmer's market is a wealth of inspiration. One week it's the fresh ripe peaches, another week it's fresh corn on the cob, and yet another week it's a batch of spicy dill pickles. I think that's the fun of it. You just never know what's going to call to you.
This weekend I went to my local farmer's market and nothing was speaking to me. Our local market is very nice, but only about 10 small stalls, and I was feeling the whole been there, done that vibe. So, I got in the car and drove to Lexington. Their market is MUCH bigger and I hadn't been there in a few years.
In a market of at least 40 stalls, with everything imaginable, I focused in on one booth full of the most amazing looking organic produce and THE MOST BEAUTIFUL HERBS I had ever seen! I starting grabbing up bundles of herbs: chives, sage, dill, basil, and thyme. I bought one of each! Inspiration had struck.
On the way home I was thinking of my favorite "base" ingredients that are my "go-to's" for all the things I bought at the market. What lends itself well to herbs, and onions, and peppers?
Some things are just standby's for me, like: eggs, chicken, potatoes, any type of bread or stuffing, and homemade butters or even pesto. I started creating a menu to use up my bounty.
To start with I turned to Mark Bittman. I really wanted to make a quiche, but a frittata is much healthier. I found that he had a variety of fritatta options in his book: pasta, grains, potato, and bread. I had some wonderful sourdough bread that needing using up, so I went with the bread frittata.
The next task was to chose the herbs. I went with dill, chives, and basil. Lots of them, anywhere from 1/4 - 1/2 cup. I wanted the frittata to sing with herbaceous flavor!
Let me go ahead and say...this frittata was one of my all-time favorites! I AM SO GLAD I WENT WITH THE BREAD FRITATTA! The sourdough cubes held up to the egg but also absorbed the egg much better than potatoes and the texture was heavenly! I will be ALL ABOUT a bread frittata from now on, it is just superior in texture to a potato frittata. Plus, I always really want my potatoes fried crispy and served on the side, and this allows for that.
The herbs were a perfect combination and I really, really loved the tang of the fresh dill with the eggs. Dill and eggs are just a perfect pairing, every bit as good together as peanut butter and jelly! I can't tell you how much I enjoyed this breakfast. I will be trying more bread frittatas in the future with various herbs and veggies and cheeses. I think this is a fabulous base recipe to play around with and highly suggest it!
Herby Bread Frittata
Adapted from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian
by Mark Bittman
1-1/2 cups cubed bread
salt and pepper
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup feta cheese*
1/4-1/2 cup fresh herbs*
Notes: You can use any herbs here. I used a combination of chives, dill, and basil. You can also use any type of cheese, but be mindful that it goes with the variety of herbs you're using. I used Parmesan and a sprinkle of feta on top, which pairs lovely with the dill.
Preheat the oven to 400F. Get out a 10" skillet that is ovenproof (I use my cast iron skillet for all frittatas). Put the butter in the skillet over low heat.
Beat the eggs with some salt and pepper in a large bowl, then stir in the bread cubes, the Parmesan, and the herbs. Mix to incorporate evenly. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet, using a spoon or spatula to distribute the ingredients evenly, and cook over low for about 10 minutes. I think the secret is cooking this real low and slow for around 10 minutes. You want the egg mixture to be firm around the sides before placing the frittata in the oven. This is also the point where I sprinkled on little bits of feta cheese! Once it looks like it is cooked around the edges, you can place the frittata into the oven. Note: You are really only placing this frittata in the oven long enough to firm up and cook the middle of the frittata. This should take only a few minutes. Keep checking the frittata so that it does not overcook, and keep in mind that this will continue to cook once removed from the oven. Best to pull it out when it still looks slightly liquidy in the center. Remove and serve hot.