Lidia Matticchio Bastianich reminds us how much fun it is to cook with herbs.
-Lidia Matticchio Bastianich; Recipe from Lidia’s Family Table (Alfred A. Knopf, 2004) lidiasitaly.com
The use of fresh herbs has exploded in the American kitchen today. I recall that as a young apprentice in Italy – at my great-aunt’s apron strings – for every herb we had in the garden, there seemed to be a pot on the stove to match..
If you have small children a wonderful way to introduce them to the enticing aromas of herbs is to gently crush the herbs in your hands and let them smell. I did this with my grandchildren when they were very small and it’s a great way to get them excited about the world of herbs and food at an early age.
In fact, once you get your small children excited about herbs, introduce them to your own dishes. Here is a quick, and child-friendly recipe to try. Enjoy!
Serves 2 as an appetizer, 1 as a lunch dish
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons milk
¼ teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon butter
2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
1. Whisk the eggs, milk, salt, and fresh herbs until just blended together.
2. Heat the butter and oil in the small frying pan until it just starts to sizzle, then pour in the eggs and turn the heat down very low. Cook gently for 3 to 4 minutes. The eggs will start to puff up and sizzle at the edges.
3. Lift a corner of the frittata with a spatula, and check to see if the bottom has browned in splotches. When it has, flip the frittata over by giving the pan a firm, quick shake up and over toward you so that the egg mass dislodges and flips over in one piece.
4. Or, if that unnerves you, turn the frittata over with a spatula. Cook the second side for 1 ½ to 2 minutes, again checking to see if the bottom has browned to your liking.
5. Serve right away, or let cool to room temperature and cut the frittata in wedges.