My summer is slow and drowsy, I spend my time in the kitchen, cooking and baking early Autumn recipes for the September issue of Dolci Tentazioni (the only refreshing aspect of this baking galore is the thought of the moment you’ll savour them in a few months from now, with a cup of tea, in a cool afternoon) and working under the sun for another exciting project you’ll soon hear about.
I had also the first sweet taste of summer holidays… I thought that being self-employed and working from home could have granted me more freedom and fun weekends abroad or at least some more quick tours around Italy, but I realized that it is even harder! It’s enough to say that my last trip was in January, when I spent a fortnight in London with my dearest friends Sarka and Beth to collect new ideas.
But this weekend, finally, I went to seaside, I sunbathed in the sun, swam in the sea feeling the salty taste of water on my lips. I mean, it is nothing special, it’s July and half Italy gets in the car between Friday and Sunday to spend at least a few hours on our shores. For me, however, this weekend had a special taste.
First of all I am not a frequent visitor of our gleaming seaside, though I truly love the sea and its brackish smell and my fondest memories as a little girl are often set on a beach in Castiglione della Pescaia, on the Tuscan coast. This was my first long weekend at the beach after 3 years. Just to say, last year I spent some time sunbathing on the foreshore for the first time in mid-September…
Another reason that made this weekend really special were my good friends: Emiko, back in Italy from Australia for a few weeks, hugged holding tears of happiness, Regula, my lovely Miss Foodwise, Karin from Yum and more and Zita from Zizi’s Adventures. I will tell you more about this hot weekend spent on the Etruscan Coast eating our way through fish markets and yummy chickpea cakes, but for the moment you can find a beautifully written and illustrated preview on Emiko’s blog.
Back home, I plunged again into peaceful sleepy afternoons made of cicadas and curtains drawn to keep out the sun. In a steamy kitchen with pots of jams and jellies simmering on the stove, I made a special lunch to cherish in the memories of such a pleasant weekend spent with some of my dearest friends. I made one of those omelets that we do not cook often in my family, though are named among the best summer dishes, a tomato frittata.
If those tomatoes are even green and fried, you’d just need the Whistle stop Café to celebrate a perfect friendship.
- 2 ox heart green tomatoes, unripe
- 3 tablespoons of flour
- peanut oil for frying
- extra virgin olive oil
- 2 organic free range eggs
- freshly ground black pepper
- basil leaves
- herbs to decorate
- Rinse the tomatoes and cut them into slices, at least 1 cm thick.
- Spoon some flour in a bowl, then coat each tomato slice with flour, shaking the excess.
- Lay the floured tomatoes on a chopping board and heat the frying oil in a pan.
- The peanut oil must be hot enough to form a crunchy crust around the tomatoes, thus avoiding them absorbing too much oil. To verify that the temperature is right, dip a corner of a tomato slice into the oil, if the surface is immediately covered with bubbles, the oil is ready and you can start frying.
- Fry the tomato slices in batches: 2 or 3 minutes on each side will be enough to turn them into a golden and crisp deliciousness.
- As soon as the tomatoes are golden, transfer them onto a dish lined with some paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Season the tomatoes with a pinch of sea salt or with Maldon salt flakes: do not restrain yourself and taste immediately at least a few slices, while still hot. It is allowed and warmly recommended, trust me...
- Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper, then scatter in a few basil leaves, torn with your hands.
- Pour a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil in a frying pan, heat it and then arrange the tomato slices to cover the bottom.
- Pour the beaten eggs over the tomatoes and swirl the pan around, as to let the eggs get firm quicker.
- As soon as the frittata is firm and crisp on the bottom, flip it with the help of a dish and cook on the other side for one minute.
- When ready, slide carefully the frittata onto a plate and eat it straight away, until it is still hot.
- Decorate the frittata with some fresh herbs to play with other flavours: parsley, chives or freshly picked arugula are the perfect match.