Al Fresco | Simple Summer Meals

fletcher + fork, al fresco brunch

Who’s ready to dive into relaxation mode? Please tell me you are! Summer certainly took its sweet time arriving this year, as everyone from the Midwest to the East Coast knows. Now that the weather has turned glorious, there has hardly been a moment or a meal I’ve spent indoors, which equals heavenly summer casual. Bare feet, simple food, sunshine, the end.

This weekend our family gathered on the front porch, enjoying a brunch of sweet June strawberries, freshly squeezed juice, and the world’s most versatile dish – frittata. That evening we returned to our tree shaded table and had burgers with garden market finds from Elawa Farm. Tender baby carrots were shaved and tossed with a splash of rice vinegar and a drizzle of best quality olive oil, then mounded atop red romaine wearing the same dressing (with sprinkles of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, of course).

My favorite Elawa find, however, was the late June delicacy of garlic scapes. Scapes are the flower buds of garlic plants and taste just like garlic, but have juicy verdant qualities. I normally make pesto when I’m lucky enough to find scapes, but this time I chopped them finely and scooped a few tablespoons into mayonnaise with lemon zest and a splash of lemon juice for topping our bacon cheeseburgers. PS – the leftover garlic scape mayo made Monday’s tuna salad lunch a delight!

fletcher + fork, garlic scape mayonnaisefletcher + fork, shaved carrot salad and burgers with garlic scape mayo

Now back to brunch and my recipe for Spinach, Mushroom, and Crispy Prosciutto Frittata…

fletcher + fork, eggs for frittatafletcher + fork, egg shells

A frittata’s versatility comes not only from the unlimited list of ingredients it will take on – leftover grilled veggies, last night’s roast chicken, the assorted cheeses I know you have bumping around in your fridge – but also its flexible serving temperature. Frittatas taste equally delicious served hot, room temperature, or cold, making them the perfect leisurely al fresco meal.

fletcher + fork, spinach, mushroom and prosciutto frittatafletcher + fork, spinach, mushroom and prosciutto frittatafletcher + fork, fresh squeezed juice

Spinach, Mushroom, and Crispy Prosciutto Frittata

This is a starting from scratch frittata recipe, but customization is what makes this dish easy-breezy. Using the egg base and following the cooking time and instructions, you can substitute any cooked veggies, protein, and/or cheese you have on hand.

serves 4 – 6 

  • 8 eggs
  • 1/2 cup half and half
  •  3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  •  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 large onion, diced
  • 2 cups diced assorted mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • 3 ounces (1 cup) grated gruyere cheese or 3 ounces (1 cup) crumbled goat cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk eggs and cream together gently with the salt and pepper until thoroughly combined but not frothy. Set aside.

Place prosciutto slices on a parchment lined baking sheet in a single layer and bake until golden and crisp, 15 – 20 minutes. Crumble into small pieces.

While prosciutto is crisping, melt butter in a 9-inch heavy bottomed oven proof skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms to pan and cook for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally,  until mushrooms are tender and reduced in size. Add garlic and about half of the baby spinach, stirring until it begins to wilt. Add remaining spinach, season with salt and pepper, and cook until all spinach has wilted.

Pour egg mixture into pan and add half of crumbled prosciutto and half of cheese, stirring to spread ingredients evenly throughout the pan. Allow to cook until edges are set, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake in 350 degree oven until set in middle, golden, and puffed, 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining prosciutto. Slice and serve at any temperature with a simple green salad or fresh berries.

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fletcher + fork, al fresco brunch

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Steph says:

    Beautiful words and images, as always. I love the new look of your page, too!

    1. Wendy says:

      Thank you, Steph! I’m so happy you love the new format 😊

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