Cloudforms, Serendipity, and Portobello Frittatas
This past weekend was the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. Which made me both happy (so much sunshine! so much daylight!) and sad (don’t start getting shorter yet, days!). When I lived in Alaska, the tradition was to strip down into your skivvies (or less, if you were so brave) and jump into the frigid waters of the lake in celebration. This year, here in Montana, I wasn’t quite so bold (not to mention that I wasn’t near a lake); instead, I opted to participate in the yogic tradition of 108 sun salutations. We faced the east, and flowed through sequence; it was beautiful and peaceful (and led to some seriously sore hamstrings!). It was also a gateway to a weekend of noticing and reflecting. A few observations:
I need to spend more time watching clouds. I have childhood memories of laying in the grass, my mind shaping cloudforms into animals and faces and buildings as afternoons stretched long into evenings. This past weekend, I went out to the backyard for what was to be a brief moment and found myself entranced, transfixed, for a good half hour, as clouds illuminated by the setting sun drifted by on gentle summer breeze. It’s an anchor, cloud watching; it pulls me back down to Earth, to the here and now, to the pause.
When I pause, I am able to more fully and truly appreciate all that this life has to offer. Especially the little surprises. Like when you meet a beautiful person–someone whose kindness and goodness and openness and generosity and warmth are a wonder to behold–in the most unexpected of places. In the most entirely unexpected of ways. In an embrace of serendipity. A day spent with this person (especially when that day is the longest of the year) is a rare gift and a true blessing.
When I reflect upon what I am most grateful for, what makes my days most memorable, it is family and friends–our shared experiences, both big and small. Like shared meals. That theme is the thread that ties this blog together, and the recipes shared here are a way for me to expand the circle of people I connect with over delicious and nourishing food. Today, another of my favorite brunch recipes: a portobello mushroom frittata.
Ingredients: 2 T butter or ghee, divided 2 shallots, peeled and sliced thin 8 eggs 1/2 C heavy cream, whole milk, or coconut milk* 1 batch grilled, marinated portobello caps, coarsely chopped 4 oz chevre** salt & pepper to taste handful fresh chives, chopped, for garnish
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Farenheit.
Heat a 10″ cast iron skillet over medium-low heat.
Once the skillet is hot, add 1 T butter or ghee. Saute the shallots over medium-low heat until softened and just beginning to turn golden (5-6 minutes).
Meanwhile, whisk the eggs and heavy cream, whole milk, or coconut milk* in a medium mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the coarsely chopped mushroom caps.
Once the shallots are golden, add the additional 1 T butter or ghee to the skillet to melt, then pour the egg mixture into the skillet.
Crumble the chevre into small pieces and scatter around the egg mixture.
Let the eggs cook until the edges just begin to set, about 5 minutes.
Place the skillet in the oven and bake until cooked through. I prefer mine to just barely begin to get golden on top, which takes 20-25 minutes.
Remove from the oven, and sprinkle with the chopped chives (and, if you like the look, a few whole chives with flowers).
Let cool for about 5 minutes before serving to make slicing easier.
* Note: I find that heavy cream gives a lighter and fluffier texture, but all 3 options work and taste great!
** If you are on a paleo plan that doesn’t allow dairy (like the Whole30), substitute 1/2 C cooked, crumbled bacon for the chevre. After you take the frittata out of the oven, top with 1 sliced avocado for creaminess.