Early Autumn Bounty {CtBF}

This time of year, I’m barely going to the grocery store.  Between the many local farmers’ markets, farm stands, my CSA share, and my own backyard, we are well-fed.  This week’s recipe for Cook the Book Fridays fit right into this food procurement system.  Except for feta cheese, all the ingredients for the Potato, Feta and Basil Tortilla were already on-hand: potatoes from Dick’s Market Garden, scallions and eggs from Wilson Farm, and basil from my own garden.

In this case, the tortilla is not a Mexican corn pancake, but a Basque version of a frittata.  You start out sautéing diced potatoes in a generous amount of olive oil.  (The recipe said to peel the potatoes but I didn’t bother.)  When the potatoes are almost tender, sliced scallions are stirred in to wilt.

Pour a mixture of eggs, some piment d’Espelette, and loads of coarsely chopped basil on top and sprinkle crumbled feta on top.  The tortilla cooks stovetop until it is almost set and a golden-brown crust forms on the bottom and sides.  The cooking finishes up for a few minutes in a hot oven.

I originally bought my cast-iron skillet specifically for making frittatas.  I’ve seasoned it, but every time I made one, it stuck.  Over the years, I’d shifted to making frittatas entirely in the oven in a baking pan.  When I read this recipe and saw that the tortilla was cooked on the stove in cast-iron, I was nervous that I’d have the same experience.  I was pleasantly surprised as I watched the crust easily separated from the pan when I checked its progress.  When I transferred the tortilla to a serving plate, I smiled as it gently plopped out.  It worked!  I could assume that after all this time, my pan is better seasoned, but I’m giving credit to the healthy amount of olive oil added at the start.

The tortilla was delicious for dinner as well as for lunch.  A side of sliced vegetables drizzled with olive oil or a panzanella were welcome accompaniments.

I’d make this again, though I thought the amount of basil was overwhelming.  I would prefer just a handful of basil for flavor supplemented with other sautéed greens to provide both substance and color.

My main takeaway lesson from this recipe is that the cast-iron skillet can be restored to its intended purpose in frittata making.  I’ll just have to remember to be heavy-handed with the oil when sautéing the vegetables.

To make your own tortilla, you’ll find the recipe on page 148 of David Lebovitz’s My Paris Kitchen.  To see other reviews of this recipe, follow the links here.



Posted on 15 September 2017, in Cook The Book Fridays, Eggs, my paris kitchen and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Betsy, I envy you all the fresh veggies wherever they come from. This was a delight and I really enjoyed it. The leftovers are great, cold or warmed up. I’m looking at that machete of a chopping instrument, it that for real????? Scary.

  2. This is the ultimate season for farm-to-table cooking, as you pointed out. Lucky you for having all the bases covered. I love using cast-iron pans. I have a few of them; they have different personalities One thing for sure, they do season and mellow and become indispensable over time.

  3. I.am.scared.to.use.my.cast.iron.pan.too. But perhaps I should try using it making frittata as per your suggestion! Were we supposed to flip the omelet over? All of the three times I made this recipe, they slide out perfectly.

  4. What a luxury it is to have all these fresh fruits, vegetables and produce at your disposal. Better yet is the fact that you take advantage of what’s available. It does take some effort to hit all the appropriate venues each week for your “food procurement.” (Loved that phrase.) Like Shirley, I have several cast iron pans that I use, 4, in fact. Am planning to give one to a caterer friend of mine. I use a cast iron pan about once a week, at least, and don’t have trouble. When I make the peach upside-down cake (have made 4 of those since I found the recipe), I spray the cast iron 10′ pan with Pam – either butter or flour can. Works great. Best idea about your post, leave the peels on the potatoes. I liked this recipe so much. Like Ro, I would like an explanation for the machete of a chopping instrument. Will tell you all kinds of bear tales when I see you.

    • It’s a mezzaluna. I love to use it to chop a big pile of greens or herbs. You just hold onto the two handles and rock away. Easy peasy! Less scary than it looks.

  5. All that fresh produce – you’re so lucky! I also found the amount of basil overwhelming, didn’t use the specified amount. And mine looks eggier because I didn’t let it brown on top ;)

  6. Yay for using your cast iron skillet! Mine wasn’t quite as easy and I had lots of blackened bits like yours, but it sure tasted good! I agree that it was a lot of basil–my eyes got wide when I read the amount in the recipe! Nice to see you back, Betsy!

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