Friday, June 23, 2006
When the June weather is so perfectly warm and the days are nice and long, there is nothing we like doing more than getting on our bikes and taking a tour along the Ilm river. Of course, the bicycle tour would not be complete with a long stop at an idyllic place on the river banks underneath a huge oak tree. And certainly not complete if I had not packed a scrumptious picnic basket.
Oh yes! I would have to hear the complaints from my two men! Both would not mind the simple sandwiches and raw vegies and dip picnic, but there are times when I like to take a special treat and surprise them with it. It still has to be simple enough to carry in a backpack on the bike but a little more exclusive than the ham sandwich.
I think a nice spongy frittata is a perfect alternative to take on picnics. A chilled white wine for the adults and some cool lemonade for the kids and a nice crispy baguette - a picnic hit all around.
I like experimenting with different types of fillings for the frittata and this time I found great recipe in one of my very old magazines that I collected during my pregnancy leave. It used green asparagus. Unfortunately green asparagus was not available at the market and I had to re-think my plan! I decided for a different combination of vegetables and herbs.
300g Zucchini - cut in half lengthwise then in slices
200g fennel - thinly sliced
1 medium onion - finely chopped
2 garlic cloves - finely chopped
1 cup chervil - finely chopped
150 g cream
salt and pepper
100g parmesan - grated
2-4 tablespoons olive oil
Pre-heat oven at 150°C.
Whisk the eggs and cream together. Add the chervil and 40g of the grated parmesan to the mixture and whisk further. Salt and pepper to taste.
In a large frying pan sauté the onions and garlic in some of the olive oil. Add the vegetables and sauté for a further few minutes - approx. 3-4 minutes.
Grease a casserole dish with the rest of the oil and spread the vegetables evenly. Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables and sprinkle with the remainder of the parmesan cheese.
Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.
Allow to cool and cut in cubes.
"Nice one mum!" was Soeren's comment with a mouthful of the frittata. I know fennel is not everyone's favorite vegie, but somehow Soeri was not complaining in any way. Tom was happy that I had come up with a great idea as he actually was not in the mood for sandwiches. He really enjoyed the fresh herby taste the chervil gave the frittata. Chervil is a great herb and I do admit one that I use to seldom in my cooking.
I had made a fairly large casserole dish and was very glad that the container was empty, when I got back on my bike ;-)
As I found this to be a perfect picnic dish I thought it would make a perfect entry to the theme of the Weekend Cookbook Challenge # 6 Picnic.
Furthermore, a nice herby recipe to enter to the Weekend Herb Blogging, this time being hosted closer to my shores - in France at Absolutely Green.
Entry also for Cate's great ARF 5 A Day Tuesday.
Just a quick reminder to everyone: This month's Monthly Mingle theme is Big on Barbecue. The deadline is July 8th. Get those barbecues hot, sizzling and give me your best recipe!