When I was in high school, my dream was to become an artist. I didn't know the logistics of it and didn't really care how. I just knew I wanted to. Art was the one thing that suspended the passing of time, if only for a little while. Thoughts would come and go, anxiety's hum practically non-existent and eyes and hands were focused only on the canvas. The world was always right in those moments.
I've been thinking a lot about how childhood experiences frame who we become as adults. My association with art goes back to my father. I still recall the strong smell of oil paint lingering in the house on most nights. I was about 7, hovering over his shoulder, peaking at the life he was creating on canvas. A scene from a village in winter. A thin red brush stroke carefully working out the intricate details of a man's long winter coat as he made his way through the snow. I can still see and smell that painting when I close my eyes.
Art had a profound effect on me...still does. For about 2-3 years of my life, it's what I did nearly every day. I couldn't wait to finish school, get home and dive right in for several hours. Fingers covered in pencil smudge, I felt an unmatched excitement. Creating something that wasn't there before made me feel alive. None of my stuff was a masterpiece - far from it. But I felt I had somehow found my place in my seemingly directionless existence.
Life doesn't allow for the freedom I had as a teenager, when my main concerns were art and partying. But ever since I started this blog, I've been getting glimpses of that feeling again - one of creating. For me the whole process feels like an intricate web of getting shit done artistically. It's not always pretty and things often don't work the way they should. Recipes sometimes don't turn out right. Even after 100 photos, I sometimes still can't capture what I need and entire posts are lost when my laptop freezes. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. But in the mess of it, I feel a sense of purpose. Something I haven't felt in a long time and feel grateful and fortunate that I'm able to share it with you.
Being able to create recipes and putting them out for the world to see is a vulnerable and humbling experience. I'm reminded of this daily and it's what drives me to push aside obstacles and doubts and keep going.
Sometimes the way I cook can feel a bit like slapping paint on canvas and seeing what happens. I get that rush of not knowing how something will turn out. I don't necessarily have a clear vision but I just start and see what happens. It's my favorite way of making food. One of those foods is a frittata. There are no rules for what you can put into it. It's free form with mainly vegetables, eggs and variations around it.
This frittata was created out of ingredients I had on hand. I've been on a big tarragon kick lately and felt compelled to use it in anything I could. Since eggs are consumed at an almost alarming rate in my house, I thought, why not? The herbs, greens, vegetables and sausage do pair beautifully with eggs. And of course, wash the whole thing down with some champagne. I guess you can add some orange juice, if you must!
sausage, tarragon and kale frittata
Prep time: 5-10 minutes
Roasting time: 20-25 minutes
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped finely
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1 cup chopped kale
1 diced shallot
1/2 cup mushrooms chopped
2 breakfast sausage links cut into small 1/2" pieces
1 tsp fresh tarragon, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh dill, finely chopped
1/2 tsp salt divided
1/4 tsp pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
cast iron skillet or any frying pan that is oven safe
large mixing blowl
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Crack eggs into bowl and whisk well. Add 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and add herbs. Whisk again to combine.
Heat cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add oil, shallot and a pinch of salt. Cook for 2 minutes until shallot is translucent. Add pepper, mushrooms, spinach, kale, the remaining 1/4 tsp salt, sausage and cook for 5 minutes until vegetables start to soften and greens have wilted.
Distribute your vegetables evenly in the pan and add the egg mixture. Let cook for 5 minutes and then transfer to oven for 13-15 minutes until fully set.
Carefully remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before slicing it into wedges. Serve right away or you can enjoy it at room temperature as well.