“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness weakness.”
― Henry David Thoreau
Rustic elegance is my current favorite term. It embraces both my design style and my philosophy about food and cooking. As my husband adds an addition onto our 100+ year old Finnish log homestead, we plan to marry both old fashioned homespun touches with modern sleekness. A handhewn farmhouse table with a sparkling chandelier, deer antlers with gold rimmed Royal Doulton Old Country Roses china and Waterford crystal, and live edge coffee tables paired with refined leather and posh velvet seating in jewel toned colors.
I combine the same sensibility to the meals I prepare. Choosing fresh, wholesome ingredients add color, texture, nutrients, and visual interest to your plate. However, creating an elegant meal does not have to be overly complicated. The key is keeping staple ingredients on hand. Whole foods are simple, hearty, and satisfying and turn a simple meal into a feast. (Plus, it gives you an excuse to take out your fancy place settings.)
Breakfast, or when my husband is on afternoon shift, brunch – is an important part of our weekend. My family makes sure to go BIG when it comes to breaking our fast. Afterall, having a farm and full time careers we always have a long list of chores to accomplish. Therefore, our first meal of the day is fuel to keep us going often until dinner time (with a snack break in between).
Since I am a crazy-chicken-lady, eggs are never in short supply. My husband frowns at poached or over easy eggs, and quite frankly, I get bored of scrambled eggs. So I have learned to experiment with a variety of frittatas. One of the things that I love about a frittata is that it is a one pan meal that contains a semblance of sophistication. You can customize it to fit your personal taste and it is fancy enough to serve to guests.
This recipe contains staple ingredients in the Waldo household. Goat cheese might not seem like a staple, but it truly is a taste sensation and it always finds its way into my shopping cart. My step-son Lukas loves it over steak (mixed with butter, pepper, and himalayan salt) and it is a great addition to vegetables, pizza, and eggs.
ASPARAGUS, MUSHROOM, & GOAT CHEESE FRITTATA
*Note – because I consider this a “rustic” meal. My measurements are a suggestion. You can customize the ingredients to meet your personal taste and the staple ingredients you have on hand.
*1 cup of greens (kale, spinach, or spring mix)
*10 spears of trimmed asparagus (cut into 3rds)
*½ cup of sliced mushrooms
*¼ cup of chopped bell pepper (I used red)
*¼ cup of chopped onion
*1 clove of minced garlic (or 1 teaspoon of store bought chopped garlic)
*¼ cup of sun-dried tomato
*20 chopped kalamata olives
*2 Tablespoons chopped dill
*⅛ cup of feta
*1/4 cup of goat cheese
*2 Tablespoons of olive oil or butter
*6-8 eggs (Our farm fresh eggs are large so I use 6)
*⅛ cup of milk or cream
*Salt and pepper (to taste)
LEMON ROASTED POTATOES
*2 cups of chopped Yukon Gold potatoes
*1 Tablespoon of olive oil
*1 Tablespoon of minced garlic
*1 teaspoon of oregano (1 Tablespoon of chopped fresh)
*Juice and zest of 1 lemon
*Salt and pepper
Heat oven to 425 degrees
I like to use a cast iron pan for the potatoes. However, a baking dish works as well. Toss potatoes in oil, garlic, oregano and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes (turn at the 20 minute mark). Add juice and zest and roast for an additional 3 minutes. Take out of the oven and let it rest.
(While potatoes are roasting) In a bowl, beat eggs with cream or milk and season with salt and pepper.
In a non-stick pan saute the asparagus, onion, bell pepper, mushrooms, and garlic with oil or butter. Cook for 3-5 minutes until soft. Add the greens and sun dried tomatoes and saute for 2-3 minutes until the greens are wilted.
Add the beaten eggs to the pan over low heat. Let the bottom of the eggs cook. Using a spatula push the sides slightly in to allow the egg mixture to seep over the edges and cook.
Sprinkle the olives, dill, feta, and goat cheese over the top of the frittata.
Place in the oven for 3-5 minutes. If you like your cheese browned, finish with a couple minutes under the broiler. Serve and enjoy!
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family does.
A pan filled with fresh ingredients can make dining a rich experience. Whether the components come from your backyard, the farmer’s market, the local coop, or supermarket – the end result should nourish. Whether you plate it up on paper, artesian pottery, or fine china – if it is made with love, it will sustain and nurture.