Balsamic Roasted Pumpkin, Bacon and Fetta mini Frittatas
There is literally nothing more rewarding for a cook when someone asks you for your recipe. Except maybe watching a plate of food disappear in 30 seconds flat. I bring you this recipe because of a request from a man who devours all my meals at world record pace, for which I am eternally grateful.
Mini Frittata's. Lunchbox hero, party oddity, usually only the domain of those dedicated to the eggy goodness of eggs. I mean remember the last time you went to a party and someone served frittata's? It was probably at your Grandma's house and they were most likely laid out on little doilies. This humble savoury treat is not so much maligned as it is overlooked. Yes, they can be a tad boring, slightly plain. Yes, places like Muffin Break charge incomprehensible amounts for what is essentially eggs and cream. And yes, they can cause slight discomfort in the lower tummy..
But we're overlooking their brilliance. They can be cooked ahead and used as a quick and easy breakfast on the run, packed in kids lunchboxes to give them a healthy alternative to a meat pie and sauce, and can even be used as a starter during summer. They're completely gluten free and can be meat free if you wish! You can put whatever in the world you want in them. Put chocolate in them for all I care, throw some chilli in there! There are just 2 things I would advise.
1. Make sure that you get the ratio of egg and cream to fillings right. Not enough fillings and your mini frittata will be as boring as Rove LA. Too many fillings and it will fall apart quicker than a Tony Abbott election promise.
2. Make sure you cook them through. No-one likes runny egg, and if they do you should avoid them at all costs. Imagine pulling your whizz bang home-made treat out at lunch, only for it to fall apart in your hands and litter your desk with protein. Not cool.
With these two things in mind, let's get to the recipe! This is largely taken from the August edition of Recipes+, the greatest edition of all time in fact. I've tweaked it, but the basic egg/cream ratio is solely them.
You will need a 12 hole muffin tray (each hole around 1/3 of a cup), a baking dish, an oven, a whisk and the following ingredients
500g of peeled pumpkin, cut in to 2cm pieces
1 1/2 Brown Onions, diced
1 tbs of olive oil
1/4 cup drained roasted red capsicum strips (see below for how to roast fresh capsicum)
3 rashers of bacon, fat removed, diced
3/4 cup parmesan (freshly grated or otherwise)
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
50g Fetta cheese
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup pitted kalmatta olives
6 eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup of cream (any cream will do, light or otherwise)
1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Grease and line the muffin tray.
2. Place Pumpkin in a microwave safe bowl and zap for 2 minutes.
3. Combine the pumpkin, onion, olive oil and salt in a baking dish, tossing to coat. Bake for 20 minutes or until pumpkin is very tender.
4. Cook the bacon for 5 minutes on medium-high heat, or until nice and crispy
5. Combine the pumpkin and onion mixture in a bowl with the parmesan, fetta, olives capsicum and bacon. Drizzle with the balsamic vinegar, then mash until the pumpkin is quite smooth and the ingredients are nice and combined.
5. Spoon the mixture in to your muffin tray. Then whisk the eggs and cream in a bowl until smooth and combined. Pour over the top of each muffin hole, ensuring not to over fill
6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and set. Use a skewer to check if it's set, if the skewer comes out clean and there is a little bit of resistance it is ready. If the skewer inserts too easily and comes out dirty throw it in for another 5 minutes. Once done, allow to cool in tray for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack
And that's it! Easy as pie. Even easier in fact.
For the roasted Capsicum:
Turn your grill on to fan grill or its highest grill setting. Cut the capsicum in to thin strips and grill until they are black and blistering. Transfer to a heat proof bowl and cover with foil for 10 minutes. Then, peel the skin off each strip and you're good to go!
There are, of course, some variations. You can add 2 tbs pesto to your mixture to add some garlic to your flavour. Using red wine vinegar instead of balsamic gives the pumpkin a much richer taste. You can also add 2 tbs brown sugar to your egg and cream mixture to give it an odd caramel texture that tastes great and will have people wondering what you've done! Store the frittata's in the fridge for up to a week.