I don’t know about you, but I find this whole Meat Free Monday shtick a tad irritating. Don’t get me wrong, I’m totally behind the notion that we should all be eating less meat. It’s just that the delivery is, well, a bit trite.
A bit like giving storms (ridiculous) names, or our current preoccupation with shunting two perfectly adequate words together to make one that is supposedly catchier (meggings, staycation, Brexit), allotting themes to different days of the week is both facile and futile. It’s like the hashtag has become King – he tells us what to do and we obey (and then post endless pics online as proof of our loyalty).
I say enough of the gimmickry already. If I choose to go meat free I’ll do it when I feel like it, when the fridge is bare, when it’s too cold to venture to the shops, when my jeans feel a little tight, when I well up at a field of gamboling lambs (OK maybe not the last one), not because someone has invented a day purely on the basis of alliteration. Similarly, I am not about to start gorging on tacos every Tuesday or guzzling wine simply because it’s Wednesday (although now I mention it…).
In any case, Monday is a rubbish day to go meat-free. Mondays are miserable enough so nothing should be off limits food-wise. More importantly, when else are you going to cook up all those lovely leftovers from your Sunday roast? The prefix ‘make-do’ would be a more appropriate one to attach to Mondays in my house – a day for using up whatever is in the fridge – meat and veg – before Tuesday’s grocery delivery arrives.
So just to make it quite clear, I am posting a vegetarian recipe today, not because it is Meat Free Monday but in spite of it. In truth, the reason I am posting it today is because this was a recipe I sent to The Guardian for Saturday’s readers’ recipe swap feature and they didn’t use it (bastards). It may be a reject, but it tastes jolly nice and in much the same way as I wouldn’t spurn Sunday’s leftover meat just because it’s Monday, I’m not going to shelve a perfectly decent recipe simply because The Guardian deemed the vegan kalamata frittata that looked a bit like dog poo more printworthy. #SOURGRAPES.
Reject sweet potato, spinach and blue cheese frittata
Frittata’s are brilliant for a make-do meal because – as long as you’ve got a box of eggs – they are quick to cook and you can throw all sorts of things into them. This one came about because I had some roasted sweet potato in the fridge and the end of a piece of blue cheese, but you could substitute the sweet for regular potato or butternut squash and the cheese for feta, goats cheese or whatever else you’ve got knocking about. *whispers* I daresay some leftover roast chicken or a bit of fried chorizo would sit happily in this as well.
Makes one 20cm frittata serving 2-3 (If you don’t have a small frying pan, you can double up the ingredients and cook in a regular-sized pan)
- 1 medium sweet potato cut into 2cm cubes
- pinch chilli flakes
- olive oil
- 1 tsp unsalted butter
- 50g creamy blue cheese (I used M&S Claxton Smooth Blue)
- 125g frozen spinach, defrosted and moisture squeezed out
- 5 medium eggs
- 50g double cream (or use single cream or milk)
- 15g toasted pine nuts
- Handful of basil leaves
- Grated parmesan to top (optional)
- salt and black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 200°C (fan), put the cubed sweet potato on a baking tray, drizzle over olive oil, sprinkle with salt, black pepper and chilli flakes and toss to coat. Place in oven for about 50 mins until golden and caramelised, tossing half way through. Drain on kitchen towel and leave to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 190°C.
2. Whisk eggs, cream and a good pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl, then add chopped spinach. Heat a small knob of butter in a small (20cm) frying pan over a medium flame and when it begins to froth add about a quarter of the egg mixture to coat the bottom and sides of the pan – this will form the base.
3. When the base is set, scatter over the sweet potato, the crumbled cheese and the pine nuts then tear over the basil leaves. Pour over the remaining egg mixture and cook on stove top until the sides of the frittata are beginning to set. Place pan in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, grating over the parmesan, if using, half way through the cooking time, until puffed up and golden brown. Leave to stand for 5 minutes before slicing.