I have vegetables on my brain even more than usual. I am helping organize a group art show that is opening this Thursday, April 7th. The theme for the exhibition is Eat Your Veggies. Also, it is really feeling like spring. We are starting to see the first signs of the season in nature and at the farmers markets. I cleaned up our little vegetable patch and planted some seeds on the weekend.
I love how vegetables and fruits follow the seasons. This rhythm is one of the defining influences of my cooking style and what I choose to eat. I find cooking seasonally keeps me inspired and challenges me to try new recipes and ingredients. The last month or so I have been cooking a lot with the spring shoots from kale, collards, and arugula as well as beautiful purple sprouting broccoli. Chives have come up and I cooked up the first rhubarb into a compote with honey and vanilla. This week I came home from market with gorgeous red radishes, stunning red veined sorrel and some green garlic. I also went foraging for nettles a few weeks ago with a dear friend of mine who lives on Bowen. The best!
I wanted to share a simple recipe using some of my favourite early spring vegetables. I make a lot of frittatas. They are perfect for any meal of the day and are a great way to use up any bits of veggies left in your fridge. I have provided a recipe, but of course you can substitute whatever you have or prefer. Spinach would be a great substitute for the nettles if you don’t have any.
If you live in Vancouver, please join us for the opening of the art show on Thursday and help celebrate vegetables. It will be a fun evening of art and food and my talented friend Julie from Kitchen Culinaire will be providing some veggie inspired nibbles. Details can be found here.
- 6 large eggs
- 1 good handful shitake mushrooms (about 40g), sliced
- 1 small leek, finely sliced
- a couple good handfuls purple sprouting broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
- a couple good handfuls of nettles (be sure to use gloves!)
- 1 Tbsp butter or ghee, plus more to grease the ramekins
- ¼ cup (60g) soft goat cheese
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp finely chopped chives
- 1 small handful rosemary, kale, or mustard flowers for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 375F (190C).
- Butter 4 individual ramekins. I used 5 inch creme brulee dishes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with a good pinch of salt and a couple cracks of pepper. Set aside.
- Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter, once melted add the mushrooms and leek and saute for a couple of minutes, until softened. Add the broccoli and nettles, season with a little salt and pepper and cook for another minute or two until the nettles and broccoli are bright green and just tender.
- Divide the vegetable mixture among the 4 ramekins, top with little pinches of goat cheese and pour over the egg. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet and place in the oven.
- Cook for 12- 15 minutes until just set. If you want more brown on top, broil for 1-2 minutes at the end.
- Cooking time may vary depending on the size of ramekin you use.
- Garnish with finely cut chives and rosemary, kale or mustard flowers.