November 2, 2008


I’ve always loved brunch. It’s the perfect excuse to combine sweet and savoury foods in one meal. And for someone like me who can never choose between eggs and waffles when I go out for breakfast, this is wonderful. Brunch also seems to suggest an embarrassment of time, and the freedom to linger over a meal – one of my favourite things.

A few weeks ago J and I had some friends over for a potluck brunch. I decided to make cornbread and frittata. I’ve already shared my favourite cornbread recipe with you, but let me stress again how easy it is to make and how satisfying to eat. Leftovers are great for toasting with a little butter and jam.

Frittata is another dish that is easy to prepare and works well as breakfast, lunch or supper. It’s also a good way to clean out the bits of vegetables lingering in your fridge, since you can throw in almost anything you want. I, however, stayed faithful to Deborah Madison with her recipe for Frittata with Tomatoes and Feta.

As our friends arrived, I chopped tomatoes and scallions and watched the beautiful midday light stream in from our big windows. It was fun sharing a meal with people during the day, instead of the usual supper.

The frittata turned out great, and everything on the table was delicious. Without planning the menu at all, we ended up with a delightful assortment of dishes that all complemented each other in delicious ways. Maria’s champagne punch was a nice little kick-start to the afternoon. I couldn’t get enough of Meghan’s fruit salad, which included dragonfruit, papaya, and pomegranate. (I unfortunately didn’t get any pictures, but let me tell you that I never knew dragonfruit is kind of a greyish colour and filled with tiny black seeds, but doesn’t taste like much.) Susan’s beet and potato salad was a great addition to an otherwise breakfasty meal, and Denis’ quiche was rich and cheesy. To top it off we ate peach and raspberry crisp made by Jess. Decadent? No, not us.

For me, perhaps the most exciting part of the whole get-together was after everyone left and I discovered that Justin had left us the half-full jar of fig jam that he had brought as an hors-d’oeuvre with crackers and brie. I love figs, and that jam was fig heaven. Not only that, but the little jar it came in was just so darn cute!

(Yes, I realise I may sound crazy for getting so excited over jam. Just ask J. He’s been listening to me wax rhapsodic about it for two weeks. I finally finished it, though, and now I’m just looking

for something to store in that pretty jar.)

Frittata with Tomatoes and Feta

From Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison

The only change I made to this recipe was to use 1 teaspoon dried oregano instead of the fresh marjoram. I don’t really like the taste of marjoram and I didn’t want to buy a whole package just for this recipe.

The only trouble I had was when it was time to take the frittata out of the pan. I was using our big (and beautiful!) cast-iron skillet, which has really high sides, so I couldn’t see how I would be able to get it out without it falling apart. Then J, ever the sensible one, suggested I just cut it in the pan with the spatula. Ah, yes. That’s why I have him around.

Serves 4 to 6

6 eggs
Salt and freshly milled pepper
1 bunch scallions, including an inch of the greens, finely sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 Tablespoon chopped marjoram, plus extra for garnish

1 Tablespoon each butter and olive oil, or a mixture
4 Roma tomatoes, halved, seeded, and diced
2 ounces feta, thinly sliced

Beat the eggs with a few pinches of salt, then add the scallions, garlic, and herbs. Preheat the broiler.

Heat the butter and oil in an 8 or 10-inch skillet until foaming. Pour in the eggs, lower the heat, and distribute the tomatoes and cheese evenly over the top. Cook until the eggs are set, then slide the pan 4 to 6 inches under the broiler and brown the top. Instead of inverting the frittata, slide it onto a large platter, keeping the top side up. Garnish with additional marjoram.

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