Wednesday, June 7, 2023


Summer is a time when the hens and gardens start producing in what seems to be a competition to see who can bury the farmer in the most produce. I love it. 
Nothing sets the table and the tone of summer like an easy dinner frittata, whipped up with the goodness of fresh-from-the-garden vegetables and herbs. Cheese is optional, and if you want to avoid dairy, it's fine to use your favorite nut or vegetable milk here. I particularly like to make this in the oven after I've taken out a loaf of bread, letting the bread cool while the frittata cooks, and making use of the already-hot oven. Or, if I already have bread to serve with the meal, I make it while the bread pan is heating. It's a great recipe and works well with nearly any schedule.

How To Make A Frittata

  1. Start by whisking together the frittata base: a simple mixture of eggs, milk, garlic, salt, and pepper.
  2. Then, sauté your veggies in a 10 or 12-inch (cast iron) skillet just until tender.
  3. When the veggies are ready, stir in any spices or herbs before adding the eggs. Pour in the frittata base, and shake the pan gently to distribute it among the vegetables.
  4. Sprinkle your frittata with cheese (if using) and transfer the pan to a 400-degree oven.
  5. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the top is lightly golden around the edges.
  6. Allow the frittata to cool slightly before slicing and devouring!

Frittata Tips

  • Spread your veggies evenly throughout the pan before pouring in the eggs. Once you pour the egg mixture in, you won’t be moving the vegetables around much (or you’d end up with scrambled eggs!), so make sure the veggies are spaced evenly in the pan to get a final frittata with veggies in every bite.
  • Change it up! Play around with  flavor combinations. If you try swapping in different herbs or vegetables, keep in mind that a good veggie:egg ratio is about 1/4 cup of veggies per egg, or 2 heaping cups of vegetables for 6-8 eggs.
  • Use a cast-iron skillet. The best choice for making frittatas, cast iron skillets can safely go from stovetop to oven, and they conduct heat well and evenly. Seasoning a cast-iron pan gives it a non-stick quality, so a well-seasoned skillet will result in the easiest slicing & serving. I like to use an enameled cast iron skillet, which does not require any pre-seasoning. If you don’t have a skillet, go make this breakfast casserole recipe instead.
  • Safety first! Don’t forget that when the cast iron skillet comes out of the oven, the handle will remain hot for a while – I’ve learned this the hard way multiple times. Place a kitchen towel on it to remind yourself not to grab it before it cools off. You can also get one of these silicone handle covers.


  • 10-Inch Skillet (I like to use an enameled cast iron skillet, but any heavy skillet will do)

Basic Frittata Recipe:

  • 6 large eggs (use 8 eggs for a 12-inch skillet)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 garlic clovesminced
  • ¼ teaspoon sea saltmore for sprinkling
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oilfor drizzling
  • 2 cups chopped fresh vegetables
  • Chopped fresh herbs (basil is particularly nice with tomatoes, while tarragon is great with mushrooms)
  • ¼ cup or more cheese of your choice 

Friday, May 19, 2023

The No-Touch, Quasi-Sourdough Recipe

 The No-Touch, Quasi-Sourdough Recipe

Real bakers will tell you that you have to weigh everything, and that volume measurement is insufficient. They know what they speak of, but I’m using volume measurements anyway. If you are lucky enough to have a kitchen scale, I have the weights noted as well. Bread is forgiving and it loves you. All will be well.


Some of the nutritional benefits of this bread: it has no sugar, added fats, or preservatives. Also, by having a nice long rising time, it is a fermented bread, which means that lots of people who are gluten sensitive can eat it.



A large bowl — think “the popcorn bowl,” big enough to hold a whole bag of microwave popcorn. Mine is about 4 quarts, and I wouldn’t go much smaller.

A whisk. Any kind will do. I use a straight ball whisk, but that’s because I already have it. You could use a fork and it will be fine.

A wooden spoon, any variety.

A cast iron pot/pan with a lid, not overly large. This is where things get specific and tricky. I use a loaf nest, and have great results. It’s pricey, and heavy as well. I hear that you can use a basic cast iron Dutch oven of any sort, but I’ve not been able to get decent results in the oven (I got great results when using this method in the wild, on actual coals and with a fire pit, but not the oven.) Le Cruset and other name brands have similar enameled cast iron bread cloches, and they are (somehow) even more expensive. If you find that there’s a cheaper, less equipment-specific solution, please let me know. 

A silicone or parchment paper liner to help make lifting the finished loaf easier.

A lid large enough to cover the bowl, or plastic wrap



1/4 teaspoon yeast (.5 g)— really it’s just enough grains to get it going.

1.5 teaspoons salt ( 8-10 g) — I use about 10g, and I like Himalayan (pink) mineral salt, as it seems to give the dough a deeper flavor character. I have thoughts on many different kind of salt (grey, black, Celtic, etc), but go with what you have. Try to avoid iodized salt, as it can change the whole reactivity that we’re after.

1.75 cups (14 ounces) of water (400g) —if you have access to filtered water, this is ideal. If not, you can let the water sit on the counter for a day or so to let the chlorine evaporate.

4 c. Flour (500 g) — you’re going to want to avoid most “all purpose” flours because they don’t have enough protein to make the reaction happen. For store bought, I like King Arthur Unbleached all purpose. You’ll know it’s the right one because it has a little “11%” badge on it, indicating that it has 11% protein. This is the right one. 



  1. Mix the yeast, salt and water together in a large bowl with a whisk until blended. This might take a couple applications. The yeast can be reluctant to dissolve, but once it does the liquid will become cloudy and the salt will get in on the action too.
  2. Add about half the flour and blend with the whisk until everything is damp. There will probably be bubbles happening in the flour as it hits the yeast. This is all wonderful.
  3. Add the remaining flour and mix with the wooden spoon (or you can use the whisk still if you prefer — I find it gets a little clumpy on the whisk as it starts to become dough). Don’t drive yourself crazy here — this is just to make sure all the flour is incorporated into the moisture. It will be a soft dough, a little stiffer than a batter.
  4. Once everything is combined, cover the bowl with a large lid or plastic wrap. The goal is to keep it warm and prevent it from drying out.
    The whole process up to this point should only take a few minutes. If you’re having misgivings, call me and we’ll video chat while you do these steps, and I can reassure you that all is great.
  5. Place it in a nice cozy spot for 12-18 hours. It should double in volume and have a tangy aroma.
  6. Preheat the oven to 450F (230 C). Place the bread pan and its lid (the cloche) inside (without the silicone liner, if you’re using one) to warm for 45 minutes.
  7. The pan will be scary hot at this point. Take the cloche out of the oven and insert the silicone liner in the lower portion. Scrape the dough into the lower half of the cloche — I use the wooden spoon to sort of coax the dough out, and it usually rolls right into the pan.
  8. Put the lid on the cloche and transfer the pan back into the hot oven. 
  9. Bake for 45-60 minutes. I usually end up setting the timer for 50 minutes. 
  10. Take the lid off and let it bake another 10 minutes if you like a crunchy crust (which I do). It also makes the whole thing less weighty when removing it from the oven.
  11. Remove the cloche from the oven and lift the loaf out of the pan (still using a hot mitt — the liner is hot too!) and gently peel the liner away from the loaf.
  12. Let it cool.
    This is easily the hardest part of the whole process! But it’s important. If you cut it before it cools, the whole thing will get sticky and collapse into something somewhat less than bread. Cooling is actually part of the baking process.
    Feel free to take pictures and send to your friends. Invite them over, even. Or keep the whole thing to yourself.  Also of note is that this bread makes  delicious croutons — the texture is just lovely for it. Cut the day-old bread into cubes, toss with olive oil (and any herbs you’re into at the moment) and broil on a sheet pan for a few minutes, stir, and broil again, repeating until they are as crisp as you prefer.

Storing Vegetables without Plastic