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Mama knows best

Being the youngest sibling really does make you the company intern of Mother’s Day. Buying the card, forging signatures, then claiming expenses from older brothers.

For me, Mother’s Day signifies the start of some really tasty ingredients coming into season, hence this week’s recipe for wild garlic, turnip, Jersey Royal and mascarpone frittata.

Frittata is the Italian answer to the Spanish tortilla or French omelette. It’s a household staple which is simple, light, and an ideal lunchtime dish.

This week’s album
How You Sell Soul to a
Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul?

This is Public Enemy’s ninth studio album - to date they’ve released 15! - which came 20 years after their first. It’s one of their best, with some incredible lyrics from Chuck D which carry very important political and social messages. ‘Harder Than You Think’ definitely makes my top 10 singles list.

Put all your eggs in this basket

What makes a frittata a frittata, and not an omelette or a tortilla? Two things…

1. When you make a frittata you’re basically making a ‘custard’ type mixture - eggs with milk or cream - which cooks slowly with other ingredients incorporated into it.

Brief interlude: as well as a little bit of milk, we’re going to use mascarpone. It has a deliciously mild taste that will help carry the flavours of the veg we use, and it will also make the frittata light and fluffy.

A tortilla usually always involves potatoes, and sometimes onions, but never milk or cream. Meanwhile an omelette can have any ingredients, as can a frittata, but they're scattered on top at the end of cooking.

Spanish tortilla. Also yum.

2. An omelette is cooked quickly and served hot from the pan, while a frittata is cooked slowly and allowed to cool to room temp before serving and eating.

This is something I learnt from my time in Italy (have I ever mentioned I used to work there?). When I questioned why something wasn’t hot I was told: “ma, si magia tepida” which means “but one eats it room temp.” That didn’t really give me the answer I was looking for but room temp dishes are quite common in Italy and at least you now know some more Italian.

Now for a quick note on the veg… Jersey Royals come into season from mid/late March until July, hitting their peak in May. They are waxy potatoes with a wonderfully nutty, sweet, and earthy flavour.


Jersey Royals: the only Royal getting good press right now.

Similarly, wild garlic - which has a big garlic flavour without the harshness of dried garlic - is just coming into season in the UK. It can be eaten raw in salads, made into a pesto, or cooked for a garnish or soup. You can even forage wild garlic if that’s your thing.

We’re going to add some turnips too. Their slightly sweet flavour, with peppery notes, will sit really well alongside the wild garlic.

What you need

The below serves 6-8. It takes 10 mins to prep and 25 mins to cook.

8 eggs

80g parmesan or pecorino (finely grated)

150g mascarpone

2tbsp milk

2tbsp chives (finely chopped)

300g Jersey Royals or new potatoes (0.5cm slices)

300g turnips (peeled, quartered, then 0.5cm slices)

100g wild garlic leaves (washed)

Sea salt & black pepper

3tbsp olive oil

Ready, steady, cook

1. Put a large, non-stick frying pan on a medium heat and add your olive oil. When hot, add the sliced potatoes and season generously with salt and pepper. Leave to cook for a few mins, stirring occasionally, and then add the sliced turnip.

Cook for a further 8-10 mins, lowering the heat to medium, until the potatoes and turnips are starting to soften but still have a little bite.

2. While that’s cooking, add the parmesan, mascarpone and milk to a bowl and beat together. Season with a good pinch of salt and pepper.

3. Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and beat well with a whisk. Incorporating some air into the eggs helps to make a lighter frittata.

4. Now combine the eggs with your cheesy mixture and add the chopped chives.

5. When the potatoes and turnips are soft, add the wild garlic leaves and cook for a minute until they start to wilt.

6. Preheat a grill to a medium-high heat.

7. Turn down the heat on your frying pan to low, and pour over the egg/cheese mix. Use a spatula to gently distribute the ingredients throughout the mixture and then leave it alone.

8. Cook for 15 mins until the bottom is starting to set (it should come away from the pan easily at this stage), then transfer to the grill for a few mins to finish cooking. The eggs should be cooked and feel set without being too firm.

NOTE: if you want, you can flip the frittata and finish cooking it in the pan with no need for the grill. This is actually more traditional but can lead to accidents. If you’re going for it then make sure the bottom is well set and slip the frittata onto a plate or board. Cover that with an upside down frying pan and flip, so what was the top of the frittata is now touching the bottom of the pan. Return it to the heat for another 3-5 mins.

9. When cooked, transfer to a plate and leave to cool slightly. You can eat it warm or leave it to completely cool to room temp.

Final thought

Frittata is a great way of using up leftovers so feel free to add other veg to the mix. It makes for a delicious meal by itself - you can serve it with a little salad on the side - or as a snack.

Enjoy your time in the kitchen. Same time next week,


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Eat My Words · Kew Gardens · Kew, TW9 · United Kingdom

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