Summer Sauce, Summer Not

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Frittata Basquaise
28 Aug 2008

[singing, sort of like Lerner & Loewe] “WHAT a DAY this has been, NOT rare this mood I’m in. . . why it’s almost like. . . ” like . . .

[coming back to Earth for a crash landing] like the usual it’s- time- to- cook- dinner- and- it’s- gotta- be- done- quickly and the cupboard’s almost bare. Just some canned tuna, and some veggies I picked up a few days ago. It’s summer, so tomatoes and bell peppers are on sale. I was thinking of pepper steaks and a tomato salad, but–no steak.

Ah well. It is what it is, and that’s that with that. I digress.

So here’s what we have–“Basque Sauce,” a trad mixture from the Pyrenees, full of fresh vegetable flavor, aromatic olive oil, and spiced with paprika (what the Basque and Spanish folk call “pimentón”) and a li’l kick of cayenne. This can be used many ways, and lissen up, here’s some of ’em for three one-dish recipes.

You can prepare it with canned tuna for a quick, nutritious (3 of the required “seven colors a day”) family meal. You can make it as a savory infused chicken for a company dinner. Even use as an omelet filling, or just poach eggs in the simmering sauce and served on a toasted English muffin. For a different Sunday brunch with eggs and potatoes, or a breakfast-for-dinner, I’ve lightened up the Spanish “tortilla” or potato-and-egg “cake” and turned it into a frittata, using fewer eggs, and the teensy new red potatoes instead of the heavier sliced russets.

It should keep in the fridge for a few days, so just make it when you have a chance and reheat later or since it freezes well, why not make a double batch with just a little extra slicing and freeze one for later?

That will also save time later for those of us cruising in the fast lane with busy professional, social, and family lives.

The words of this author reflect his/her own opinions and do not necessarily represent the official position of the Orthodox Union.