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SPRING DELIGHT 05.05.11

GIUSEPPE’S DISH OF THE MONTH:

Colazione del Contadino

{Farmer’s Breakfast}

Colazione del Contadino (serves 1-2)

  • Cage Free Organic Eggs each 4
  • Baby Zucchine with Blossom Each 4
  • White Onion Each 1/4
  • Feta Cheese Cup 1/4
  • Grated Parmiggiano Reggiano Cup 1/2
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil Tbsp 2
  • Granulated Sugar Tsp 1
  • Crusty Levain Bread Slices
  • Any Fruit of your liking for side dish

Crack the eggs in a bowl and whisk them with some salt and pepper. In an Omelet Pan or Cast Iron Skillet Heat up 1 Tbsp of Olive Oil, dice the onions and slice the zucchini in to small little circles, then combine with the olive oil and let it brown a bit. Add the zucchini blossoms and let them wilt for a minute or so, then add the eggs, the feta and season with salt and pepper With the help of a rubber spatula start lifting the bottom of the frittata and let the lose eggs get underneath in order to cook properly. Once the bottom is cooked flip it over and cook the other side. Turn off the heat and let it rest.

Take the slices of bread, drizzle the remaining of the olive oil and either grill them or toast them, when done sprinkle the sugar on it.

Cut the fresh fruit to your liking and serve.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

There is something so fascinating about simplicity in cooking, especially using classic methods and fresh ingredients. I grew up eating very simple dishes created from the most seasonal ingredients. At the farm we didn’t really know any different, since everything was sourced there. With very few trips to the grocery store, we ate everything that was available that season and there were plenty of choices.

This dish reminds me so much of my Grandmother (Nonna Antonia would have been 100 this year). On early mornings in the Spring, the outdoor temperature would still be a bit low in our area of Italy, and on busy days my father would ask me to go help Nonna Antonia. Like most kids, I would ask, “What do I get to do?” His answer would be, “Get your Nonna to cook you breakfast before we start the day, and you get to pick the ingredients you want.”

Even at that age, I would think, “Cool!” I already knew that I was going to become a chef, so it was a no brainer to take a quick walk around the farm and pick the ingredients.

Stop #1 – Figure out the protein. I would see all our chickens and pick the eggs still warm (No kidding! How much fresher can you get than that.) A couple of times they got kind of mean and started chasing after me.

Stop #2 – Figure out the vegetable part of the meal. I would see a beautiful baby zucchini with a nice little blossom and think “Frittata!” Then I would pick some onions and keep wandering around the garden.

Stop #3 – No breakfast would be served without fruit, so I would pick whatever looked best and would be easiest to reach. As a kid, there were a couple of times when, trying to be helpful, I climbed a fruit tree too high and took a bad fall. After that I always looked for things that could more easily be  accessed, like the little wild strawberries I loved. They were so sweet, one bite was like pure sugar on your tongue.

Once all the ingredients were in my little wicker basket I would go back to the farmhouse and my Nonna would take care of the rest. Colazione del Contadino was one of my very favorite breakfasts, a simple and flavorful frittata accompanied by a couple of pieces of grilled bread with our olive oil and some sugar (a cheap version of French Toast.) Every bite was so good, I can still see the smile on my Nonna’s face. She was so proud of her little grandson, and she always made me feel very special.

So since it’s springtime, I felt like giving you a very simple dish idea to make for your kids, or better yet, have them help make it and learn how to do it just like I did.

The one thing you may not be able to find is the cheese we used, because back then we would make our own Caciotta, which is a semisoft cheese made from sheep’s milk. I am pretty sure that nobody in this town will have that, so I suggest a great substitute – fresh feta.

Visit the downtown farmer’s market and look for Spring Hill, which is the very best feta product at this moment. While you are at the market, make sure to buy cage-free organic eggs and baby zucchini with blossoms. The dish photos show the kind of fruit I would serve at this time of the year.

Enjoy!

Giuseppe

 

Specializing in Wedding, Corporate Event and Celebration Catering in La Jolla & San Diego! Planning a special event, a wedding, a party, a corporate lunch… GIUSEPPE Restaurants & Fine Catering of San Diego & La Jolla will create, cater and customize every detail of your next festivity with a menu to tempt any invited guest. Imagine your special day through our sample wedding menus. Every delicious element, each luscious ingredient was carefully selected to express the desires of the bride and groom. We, at GIUSEPPE Restaurants & Fine Catering will cater your wedding day, a celebration to cherish forever. Whether it’s a Board of Directors luncheon in the conference room, an elegant cocktail reception for your clients, or a festive, holiday celebration for employees, GIUSEPPE Restaurants & Fine Catering is San Diego ‘s premier choice to cater any business event. Make your next elegant corporate event end in praise and success. We invite you to stop by the Museum Café in La Jolla for breakfast Saturday or Sunday beginning at 9am or for lunch, between 11 am and 3 pm each day. Or just stop in for a quick cup of Giuseppe’s famous, steaming Cappuccino with a foamy crest while enjoying the breeze over La Jolla Cove.

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