I wish I was a morning person. (Is anyone out there a morning person? Any good tips of how to be one?) Being an insomniac doesn’t help so as much as I love it when the sun shines on spring and summer mornings, and as much as I love a good sunrise when I manage it, mornings suck the life out of me. There are two main things that make my mornings great though: food and holidays. And somehow these two things always seem to go well together. One of my Italian holiday resolutions is to never miss my cappuccino and cornetto. The guy behind the counter recognised us as the slightly timid ‘stranieri’ later a.k.a ‘Maltesi’ who looked as if they never tasted good coffee in all their lives. Which, by the way, was partly true. The Italians know their coffee, true. And almost everything on holiday tastes great.
I did say almost.
Now as lazy as I am with breakfast, I found the solution. Brunch. One of these days I must invite some friends over for brunch. When a friend of mine invited me for ‘brunch’ back when we lived in the US, the concept of going out in the morning for brunch was very new to me. I discovered that brunch is simply a late breakfast, making it ideal for leisurely weekends at home, or holidays…even better. I’m not a breakfast person, but I really really like breakfast food. If I had to eat a bowl of porridge at 7pm or a slice of toast with avocado for tea, I wouldn’t mind it at all. Non-complicated comfort food is my thing. Don’t get me started on pancakes for example. I would live on those, given the chance, which fortunately for me isn’t that often!
This simple frittata is inspired by the Spanish version of what is essentially an omelette. Before any Spaniards out there give me grief, I do know that the traditional one consists of potatoes. Just potatoes. I think that the added ingredients give the omelette that something extra and helps to make it complete. The dry-roasted red peppers together with the garlic make somehow make it fresher and ideal for the coming summer months. Dare I say that the time to spend countless hours in the kitchen has passed here in Malta? Well, for now at least? The members of Breakfast Brunch Brigade (a ficticious project which I might be interested in) will be pleased because your time, and mine, has just begun. Go!
- 220g potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
- 4 eggs
- 75g red peppers, chopped into rough cubes
- handful of fresh garlic, washed and thinly sliced
- 2 spring onions, washed and chopped (optional)
- 75g grated Emmental cheese
- 1 teaspoon butter
- drop of regular olive oil
- pinch of salt
Boil the potatoes for around 10 to 15 minutes until they are cooked through and drain. Whisk the eggs and set aside.
In a dry shallow non-stick pan, brown the peppers on all sides. This will take a few minutes but be patient. This will make such a difference, trust me. Keep an eye on them and when they’re done just set aside. In the meantime turn on the grill.
Mix the fresh garlic, spring onions and grated Emmental with the eggs. Season the egg mixture with salt and pepper, and add the cooked potatoes and roasted peppers.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium-low heat and add the butter and olive oil. (You can use the same pan in which you roasted the red peppers.) When hot, pour in the egg mixture and cook for around 5 minutes.
The bottom of the frittata should be set by then so remove the pan from the hob and place it underneath the grill until the top is completely cooked.
Turn the frittata onto a plate and set it aside to cool slightly. It will continue to cook as it cools.
Slice it into wedges and eat, either with some fresh bread or with a light salad.
(Recipe adapted from Nigella Express, Chatto & Windus, 2007.)