Saturday, 9 August 2014

Breakfast torta

We really like chunky big breakfast omelettes in this house. I often make a "English Breakfast" omelette which contains more or less the contents of an English Breakfast, i.e. chopped up bacon, sausages, tomatoes and mushrooms. I like to call it "Heart Attack Breakfast". But it takes quite a while to cook a big, chunky omelette in a skillet and it often tends to get very dark at the bottom before the top is done. Sometimes I make my omelettes in the oven, which helps them cook much more evenly, such as this tomato omelette. When I saw the recipe for this summer vegetable torta over at All Day I Dream About Food, I immediately knew it would be a great addition to our breakfasts as it's a bit more healthy and perfect for courgette season. I am constantly on the lookout for new courgette recipes, although I do have a few I am going to try so expect more courgette recipes in the near future.

I have made some modifications to the original recipe to accommodate what I had at hand. I left out the cream as I thought it was a bit superfluous. I also added in some bacon as I happened to have a few slices laying around waiting to be used up before going bad. I love that you can hide pretty much any leftovers in omelettes, perfect for a bit of a fridge clean to make sure you use up all those bits and bobs from the jars in the back. 

Almost vegetarian breakfast torta (serves about 8):
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
3-4 slices of bacon, cut into strips
5 mushrooms, sliced
1/2 large courgette or a whole medium courgette
1 sweet pepper
2-3 sundried tomatoes
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
5 eggs
250 g cream cheese (I used Tesco Pesto flavoured lighter cream cheese)
2-3 tbsp finely cubed/grated leftover cheese bits (I used stilton and brie)
big handful chopped up herbs (I used flatleaf parsley)
pepper to taste

The howto:
Prepare the veg, finely chopiing onion, slicing mushrooms, bacon, sweet pepper and courgette. Preheat oven to 200 degrees C (390 F). Heat up oil in a skillet, add onion and cook for a few minutes until onions turn translucent. Add bacon and cook for a few minutes, add mushrooms and cook a further few minutes, increasing the heat for a while if needed to make the mushroom juices evaporate. Add courgette and sweet pepper, balsamic and Worcestershire sauce. Let cook for about 10 minutes, or until veg are starting to soften but not mushy (they will keep on cooking in the oven). Take veggies off the heat. In a bowl, mix the eggs, cream cheese, cheese cubes/grated cheese, herbs and pepper. Mix with the veggies and pour into a oven proof dish and cook for about an hour (depending on the size of your dish and therefore the thickness of the torta you may need more or less). The torta is done when it's golden brown and no longer jiggles in the middle. I put mine in a round 25 cm silicone mould, and it was done to perfection after exactly one hour.

The verdict:
This is a somewhat healthier option compared to my usual sausage and bacon filled brunches but it was very tasty. I think using a flavoured cream cheese is a great idea as it brings a nice pop of flavour, you could use your favourite cheese. I like that it's a great way to work in extra veggies in your diet. It was tasty and the Culinary Consultant liked it as well. Although I'm sure it would work great without the bacon, we both thought it did add that nice little extra to contrast with all the veggies. It also worked great as a lunch at work the next few days. It contains a good amount of protein and is low carb, although with all the cheese it does add up to a bit of fat per serving. My calorie calculator gave the following nutritional info for one serving (1/8 of the torta): 211 kcal per serving, 15,9 g fat, 5.2 g carbs, 9.4 g protein.

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