When it comes to eggs, it’s tough to know what story the labels really tell. Cage-free, free-roaming, natural, free-range: In our minds we picture open, grass-flecked barnyards with black dirt below and blue sky above, and plenty of room to run, extend feathered wings and peck at grubs. In the simplest sense, a chicken’s life as it should naturally be. It turns out that labels don’t always mean what they imply and in the case of free-range and free-roaming (the only ones regulated by the USDA), far less. In order to apply the free-range and free-roaming label the USDA expects that producers allow hens access to the outside. The labels don’t speak to whether birds have room to move, or actually make it out the door. Or whether they are treated humanely and allowed to engage in natural behaviors, like pecking in the dirt. In a free-range barnyard all of these may be true—or may not.
This week guest writer, Kelsey Snider, offers up a delightful mini quiche that’s likely to be a hit on the breakfast table with its airy texture and hints of fresh basil and cheese. It’s a recipe that’s simple enough for everyday, but elegant enough to book as the headline act for a special brunch gathering. Be sure to select certified humane eggs from Glaum Ranch, available as an add-on to your weekly Freshness Farms delivery. Thanks for sharing, Kelsey…
Eggs have this amazing ability to keep me full throughout the morning. They do a great job of preventing noontime hunger attacks that inevitably turn into a torrid affair with greasy grilled cheese. Because I’m sure I’m not alone in appreciating the magically filling powers of the egg, I’m sharing with you a mini quiche recipe that involves minimal effort and ingredients. Make these ahead of time for the week and store in the fridge so you can get your morning egg fix no matter how rushed you are. These quiches are also crustless, making them easy to prepare and gluten-free, if that’s important to you. If you don’t have cheddar, you can use any kind of cheese you like, even those odds and ends that are too substantial to throw away and too little to use for anything else. In my experience, the wider the cheese variety, the better—so create your own cheese blend.
Frittatas are the classic egg dish of Italy—made with all kinds of vegetables. Herbs, onions and cheese round out the flavors. Try substituting other greens or adding lightly sautéed mushrooms. Left-overs cut into wedges made great lunchbox fare—or a quick and nutritious breakfast.
If you have it, choose Challah for this custardy-soft-on-the-inside french toast — though any high-quality, white or light wheat bread will do. Cut thick slices — about 1/2 to 3/4 inch. Be sure to allow the bread to soak in the egg mixture for several seconds on each side — this is key to achieving the custardy texture. Fry the decadent slices in butter — they turn out golden-brown and loaded with flavor. This is not the moment to skimp. Save virtue for another day.