Eggs are sooo easy!

I love having eggs in my refrigerator! I can cook, bake and be creative in the kitchen whether it is for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I recently went on a local farm tour with the Ontario Farm Animal Council that showcased a great local egg farm in Mapleton, Ontario where they have over 125, 000 hens that produce over 3 million dozen eggs per year! Isn’t that astonishing! I am amazed that those dear little hens have the energy to produce such an amazing source of protein over and over again. As egg farmer Len Jewitt said, “Chickens are the only animal that can make an egg that has so much calcium outside over and over again”. You really have to stop and think how amazing that is!
There is so much involved in egg farming to produce superior grade eggs that it shouldn’t be taken lightly. I know friends have pondered the idea to get a chicken or two to have farm fresh eggs in their own backyards! I grew up having that accessibility with my uncle’s farm. He would bring farm fresh eggs to us with bright orange yolks. My first question was why are they that colour? His response, “it’s all that pasta with sauce they are eating!” What can I say we are Italian. Not a traditional feed for real egg farmers that produce suburb quality eggs for our consumption. The hens need to have chicken feed that is high in protein and calcium to produce those eggs and plenty of clean water and a perfect place to live. I will leave it to the Ontario Egg Farmers to keep those eggs heading to the stores and markets for me to purchase and bring home.
Eggs are truly a staple in my home and probably in most homes. Whether you buy brown or white eggs they will work the same in recipes. The egg size that is used most often in recipes whether they are in cookbooks, magazines or newspapers is large. It truly can make a difference if you use a smaller or larger egg in recipes like cookies or cakes that call for a few eggs. You may end up with a very wet batter or in some cases an overflowing cake pan or the complete opposite with smaller eggs. So in an egg size isn’t specified best assumption is large. I also keep my eggs in the refrigerator on a shelf as opposed to the door of the fridge. Best to keep them cool until you need them. Farmer Len mentioned that it really doesn’t take too long to get the eggs from the farm to the store so your egg salad may be difficult to make as the frustration of peeling hard cooked eggs may be high. So keep those eggs for a bit longer so it will be easier to peel away the shell once cooked.
I was inspired by my trip to the farm, as anyone would be really. It’s just like when you go to any farm I think, your ideas start flowing and creativity happens. I do love that! Desserts like pavlovas and meringue nests came to mind right away so many egg whites! But I really wanted to use the whole egg and I wanted something fast to eat for lunch. Sometimes my stomach really rules the decisions, don’t you find that in your own home?
A farm inspired frittata would fit nicely and who wouldn’t mind a frittata recipe? I love making them because they are fast and I can use up leftovers easily or be creative and make up different flavoured ones that I might not have tried before.
I grew up enjoying frittatas, mainly pasta frittatas which have spaghetti typically in them with dried sausage and ricotta and parmesan and of course eggs to keep it all together. My aunts make some of the best frittatas I’ve ever had and they always inspire me to strive for that perfection with my eggs and other ingredients. Having the right amount of eggs is always a good start to keep all your ingredients together and the other ingredients inside are just added bonus really! So what is a frittata? Simply it’s an egg dish that is similar to an omelette except that the other ingredients are usually added before the eggs and the opposite is true for an omelette.

Asparagus and Sundried Tomato Frittata
I was given some delicious garlic scapes (immature flower stalks of the garlic plant) this week from a garlic farmer so I decided to include them in the recipe too. You can use 1 clove of garlic, minced if you don’t have any scapes.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes

2 tbsp (25 mL) canola oil
1 ½ cups (375 mL) chopped fresh asparagus
6 garlic scapes, chopped (about 1/3 cup (75 mL)
¼ tsp (1 mL) each salt and pepper
1 ½ cups (375 mL) cooked baby shell pasta
2 tbsp (25 mL) finely chopped sundried tomatoes in oil
6 eggs
2 tbsp (25 mL) chopped fresh basil
1/3 cup (75 mL) shredded Old Cheddar cheese

In 8-inch (20 cm) ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Cook asparagus and garlic scapes with pinch each of the salt and pepper, stirring for about 5 minutes or until tender crisp. Stir in pasta and sundried tomatoes and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, basil and remaining salt and pepper. Pour into skillet stirring to combine with pasta and vegetable mixture. Cook lifting edge with rubber spatula letting runny egg go to the bottom for about 3 minutes or until bottom is light golden and sides are starting to set. Place skillet under broiler and broil for about 3 minutes or until set and knife comes out clean when inserted in centre. Remove from oven and sprinkle with cheese. Broil for about 2 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Remove to cutting board to cut into wedges to serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Tip: Serve with a mixed green salad or tuck it into a soft Kaiser bun to enjoy for lunch. If you have some salsa or pasta sauce you can serve that along side it too.


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