There is nothing quite like having time on your hands to slowly prepare a meal in the kitchen, in a relaxed, lulled fashion, where the act of chopping, sautéing and whisking feels intensely gratifying rather than a forced necessary. Lazy Sundays, where breakfast time becomes lunch time, without even realising it, still suited in last night’s pyjamas… don’t you just love that (almost unrecognisable) feeling? Armed with a crateful of just-laid eggs and an abundance of garden fresh herbs, one lazy Sunday not so long ago, a beautiful frittata was born.
The wonderful thing about frittatas is that you can add absolutely anything to them, from beautiful seasonal vegetables to flavoursome cured meats. They are a great way to glorify leftover bits and pieces that you might have in the fridge, and they sing with the addition of any sort of cheese oozing through them.
When there is a relaxed sense of lull in the kitchen, there is always an enhanced mood for experimenting with ingredients. Just-laid eggs, fresh herbs, a generous slab of Parmesan and some smokey bacon in the fridge and... an open packet of kataifi pastry (the remnants of what was used in last night's nut dessert).
Kataifi is such a wonderful and versatile ingredient, yet relatively foreign to most. Once you familiarise yourself with it, it is the sort of ingredient that you add and weave through so many dishes, usually for its crunchy texture when cooked. The kataifi through this frittata is just lovely. It serves two purposes in this recipe. Mixed through the egg mixture, the kataifi works brilliantly with the egg to help bind all the ingredients together. The addition of extra kataifi around the edges of the frittata before popping it into the oven to crisp up and golden creates a wonderful textural dimension to the otherwise soft frittata.
A soft cheesy, smokey, herb infused frittata with a burst of crunch - breakfast at its best!
Antoniou Kataifi pastry can be found in delicatessens, fruit markets and gourmet food stores. For stockists, visit www.antonioufillo.com.au
180g Kataifi pastry
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
pinch cracked pepper
4 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
100g smoked bacon, diced
1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
2. Allow the kataifi to come to room temperature. Drizzle the kataifi with 2 of the tablespoons of olive oil. Using your hands, roughly pull the kataifi apart and separate it into two separate bowls - 150 grams in one bowl, 30 grams in the other. Using scissors, roughly snip the pastry into inch long pieces (Very roughly, no precise measuring required). Set aside.
3. Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk together. Add the shallots, parsley, Parmesan cheese and pepper, and whisk until well combined. Add the 150g of kataifi, and whisk with a fork until the kataifi is well coated in the egg mixture.
4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a medium sized oven proof frying pan on medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook until it starts to colour. Reduce the heat to low-medium. Add the egg mixture, so that it evenly spreads across the pan. Allow the frittata to cook undisturbed, until the egg mixture starts to firm, approximately 6-7 minutes. The frittata will start to firm around the edges and fluff up slightly, while the centre will remain a little wobbly. Remove from the heat.
5. Spread the 30g of kataifi around the edge of the frittata, leaving the centre of the frittata exposed. Place in the oven and cook until the top of the frittata and the kataifi start to golden, approximately 10 minutes.
6. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with additional grated Parmesan cheese if desired.
7. You will likely find yourself wanting more of that kataifi crunch, in which case, you can bake some additional kataifi strands on a baking tray under a grill for 2-3 minutes until golden, to serve alongside the frittata.