What Cara's Cooking - Preserved Lemon Frittata

This morning I made a frittata. I do this often, as it is an easy way to use odds and ends that are languishing in the fridge and transform them into a humble and delicious meal. Today’s rescue items included a few grilled red onions from Friday’s dinner, some boiled potatos that we had tossed with olive oil and preserved lemons, lovage and radish tops.

Last Saturday, Eric and I were listening to the Splendid Table. Someone called in with questions about how to use preserved lemons. The host of the show suggested tossing them with boiled potatoes. This inspired both Eric and I. We have been making preserved lemons for the past couple of years. We especially like to make them with sweet Meyer Lemons. Preserved lemons are a kind of lemon pickle. Lemons are covered with salt and enough lemon juice to cover and left to cure. That is basically it. Here’s a recipe from the same website. You don’t need sel gris. Good old kosher salt will work just fine and has a cleaner flavor. I like to add cardamom pods and cinnamon sticks to the brine.

Boiled potatos tossed with preserved lemons, olive oil, parsley and a good grinding of black pepper is so simple and delicious that this is now our “potato” dish. We may never eat them any other way.

Anyway, it’s Sunday morning and I have left over potatoes. Now what?

We have a giant lovage plant in the yard. I planted it from seed a few years ago. Lovage is herbaceous celery like plant. It can grow 4-5’ tall and the stems are hollow. You can make fun natural straws for drinks with it. We have used it with homemade tomato juice, cooked with beans, infused vodka and it goes very nicely with eggs. The challenge is using it: the plant keeps getting bigger daily and yearly. So into the frittata they go!

This season, we hit the radishe bonanza. They are round and well, real radishes! For some reason, every other year, we are not successful in growing them. We get strange woody roots, but we get tons of leaves. I blogged about this last year during my vegetable offal phase. The leaves are spicy and peppery, but need to be cooked or processed because they are thorny. So a handful of leaves go in to the mix as well.

I sautéed the onions, potatos and lemon in a cast iron skillet. Then added the shredded greens to wilt. I scrambled 6 eggs and tossed them on and spread them evenly through the veggies. With such strong flavors from the veggies and the lemon, I thought that a mellow cheese would be best and yes, there, on the second shelf, waaay in the back, was a half of a container of ricotta. Perfect. A few dollops on top, a dusting of parmesan and into a 400° oven it went.

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Well, where to start. I found Cara via a circuitous route of desperate calls and failed visits to Chinese ‘professionals’ to complement my traditional medicine. I’d been to Chinese doctors who, though I’m certain ‘knew their business’, were unable to extend a personal and caring element that I immediately felt when I contacted Cara.

I knew as soon as I spoke to her on the phone, and spent a full 1/2 hour telling her of the myriad of coexistent problems I was experiencing. Though initially I contacted her for womens’ health issues and simple gallstones, eventually, I ended up with very serious health concerns that she was able to assist with as well. She weaves her natural approach to care with a solid awareness of traditional approaches, and – on the rare occasion when purely natural approach is not sufficient on its own – will recommend a solid combined approach.

She is not focused solely on her own type of care, if a combination of several ends up helping her patient. It’s not even a question as to whether I would recommend her. I’ve done so repeatedly in the more than 10 years I’ve known her!

Pros: visits are like a 4year old to the cookie jar – comfortable warm surroundings, with goodie benefits

S.C.