My definition of rustic cooking is a healthier version of comfort food using fresh ingredients: all the rich, hearty flavors minus the calories! Recently, I invested in a new cast iron skillet. Like any new toy, I’m playing around with it; perfecting my skills and recipes. Oh how fun it is to be a savorychick!
After gathering my fresh ingredients from the garden, my basket overflowed with squash, zucchini, herbs, and of course, eggs! As I was walking back into the house, the rush of recipes in my head using my iron skillet made me feel like a little girl anticipating opening up new birthday presents! I just couldn’t wait to open up the recipes and indulge!
I don’t know which is more fun: the creative process of bringing all the flavors and ingredients together or simply the first and last bite? I say both! In about an hour, I composed a dish that was dazzling to look at and even more sensational to the palate. That is why I have named this dish “Skillet Surprise”: using my fresh ingredients and my new toy, I was able to surprise even myself with rustic, tasty, flavors of my garden produce for lunch.
Play around with these ingredients. Remember, it is rustic! Anything goes…keep it simple, fun and rustic!
2-3 zucchini- shredded, seasoned with 1 tablespoon of salt and strained of all the juices (let sit and drain for 30 minutes)
1 small butternut squash- peeled, shredded
1 cup finely chopped scallions (white and green parts)
1 large red jalapeno-seeded and minced
3 tablespoons of freshly chopped parsley
½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
½- ¾ cup Italian bread crumbs
¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
½ cup extra version olive oil
Chopped scallions for garnish
*toasted slices of your favorite bread such as sourdough, rosemary olive, or focaccia
Preheat oven to 375
In an iron skillet (or any safe stove to oven skillet) over medium low heat, sauté together olive oil, scallions and jalapeno for 1-2 minutes. Add squash, stir occasionally. Once squash is semi-cooked, add drained zucchini, parsley, salt and pepper to taste, Italian seasoning, and nutmeg. Continue to cook for 7-8 minutes until vegetable are cooked.
Spread vegetable mix evenly in skillet. Using a spoon, create 6 round craters or indentations (approximately 2 ½ inches in diameter) for the eggs. Sprinkle bread crumbs over entire surface area of craters and vegetable and place in the oven for 15 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Take skillet out of the oven and cool for five minutes. One by one, crack each egg carefully into individual crater. Sprinkle with cheese and desired salt and freshly ground pepper. Place back into the oven for 10 minutes; serve immediately with garnished scallions.
Break open each yolk and allow it to cover your vegetables with a silky indulgence; or just dunk your bread pieces into the egg yolk and create a perfect bite!