Farm Fresh Eggs

eggsMy friend Kathrynn Saari is a genius at coaxing food from the earth. She’s always been a source of garden delights, but after a recent move to property large enough to raise chickens and keep bees, she’s become my regular supplier of farm fresh eggs. For just $3 per dozen, I get two cartons of eggs at the end of every week, and frankly, I can’t wait for the honey.

For those of you who have only ever tried supermarket eggs, I urge you to seek a source from the farm. Many people do not realize it, but eggs at the grocery store (even the organic ones) are several weeks old by the time they make it to your refrigerator. While this makes them ideal for hard boiling (older eggs peel much more cleanly than fresh eggs), there is a payoff in flavor and color.

The eggs I get from Kathrynn have been plucked from beneath the butts of chickens hours earlier. They arrive in a colorful array – white, brown, blue, and sage green. Just looking at them in a carton is a delight. When I crack one open, the yolk is a deep sunshine-colored orangey-yellow that is so much more intensely pigmented than a store-bought egg. They also typically have a higher yolk to white ratio, rendering anything you make from them silky and delicious.

Just last week, I baked a batch of chocolate chip cookies from these wonderful eggs. Jim assures me they are the best chocolate chip cookies he has ever had, and he’s not really a fan of that type of cookie. He’s more of an oatmeal raisin man. Still, the cookies were spectacular. Although the eggs are slightly smaller than a supermarket egg, I used the normal amount. The result was cookies that rose to a spectacular height. Yesterday, I made zucchini bread with them. I have never made a quick bread with such a perfect, moist crumb.

Baking aside, farm fresh eggs make homemade pastas tastier and more velvety, homemade mayonnaise richer, and taste delicious when you feature them in humble scrambled eggs. Since I’m currently working with beautiful vegetables straight from my CSA box, I also enjoy a really good frittata. With farm fresh eggs, they are even better than you could image.

Heirloom Tomato and Zucchini Fritatta

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp. unsalted butter
  • 1/4 zucchini, sliced
  • 3-4 thick slices heirloom tomato
  • 3 Tbsp. (or more) of grated cheese. For this, I enjoy Asiago.
  • Drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-4 leaves of fresh basil, torn into small pieces
  • Pinch of sea salt

Method:

  1. Set oven to broil.
  2. Whisk together eggs until well combined.
  3. Whisk in heavy cream, and black pepper to combine.
  4. Heat an oven-proof saute pan on the stove top over medium-high heat, melting the butter in it to prevent sticking. Use more butter if necessary.
  5. Pour egg mixture into pan. As the eggs begin to set up around the side, gently work them towards the center with a spatula and tilt pan to distribute unset eggs.
  6. When eggs have mostly set, remove from heat. Arrange zucchini and tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
  7. Place in oven under broiler, watching carefully. Cook for just a few moments, until frittata puffs slightly and cheese melts and begins to brown.
  8. Remove from oven.
  9. Slice into wedges.
  10. Drizzle each slice with olive oil, and sprinkle with basil and a little sea salt. My son will also tell you that drizzling these with truffle oil in place of olive oil makes the frittata even better.
  11. Serve immediately.
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