Gotta frittata? You betcha!
Ever heard of Everglades tomatoes? They’re a teeny-tiny tomato perfectly suited to Florida’s growing season (read: all year) and taste like candy. They also make a perfectly delicious breakfast pizza, but because it sounds unhealthy to call it “breakfast pizza” I’m going with “Everglades breakfast frittata.” Recipe first, then we’ll chat about the tomatoes (your scroll finger can thank me later).
8 eggs, beaten
16 pcs. canned and quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed
3 oz. low-moisture, part-skim mozzarella, shredded
1 c. Everglades tomatoes or, absent those, grape or cherry tomatoes
- Coat a cast iron skillet with cooking spray and pre-heat oven to 400º.
- Whisk eggs in a bowl, then pour into skillet. Turn flame on low.
- For Everglades tomatoes: smush them over the skillet (so juices run onto the eggs) and drop them in the eggs at equal distances (you want a tomato in every bite). For grape or cherry tomatoes: Pierce each tomato with a knife over the eggs, then pull into pieces and scatter across the eggs in the same manner as above.
- Sprinkle the artichokes over the eggs. If you don’t like ‘chokes, don’t use ’em. Think pizza toppings here: If you like it on a pizza, throw it in.
- Sprinkle cheese over the eggs. The aesthetic is a pizza with an egg-type crust.
- Cook over low flame until edges set, then transfer to oven for 15 minutes. When you remove it from the oven, it will be slightly puffier than you’d expect, but if you’re not eating the whole thing, it’ll settle down by the time it cools and is ready to store.
- Cut like a pizza. Sprinkle with garlic salt and red pepper flakes. Layer slices with wax paper to store. Reheat for one minute in microwave.
OK, so now that you have the recipe, WTF are Everglades tomatoes? Scientifically, they’re Solanum pimpinellifolium, but that doesn’t really tell you much, does it? Some people call them currant tomatoes, but none of those people are here, and also, they’re wrong. They’re not currants; they’re tomatoes. They’re just… teeny. And tasty.
Our friend and neighbor, Bob, gave us a great wedding gift a few years ago; he called it a “salad a day” barrel. It was a half-whiskey barrel planted with lettuce, radishes, carrots, and other salad makings growing in it, and extra seeds. The idea was that as we picked enough for a salad, we added more seeds, and we’d have salad forever. We live in Florida, so forget having greens year-round, but every winter a few lettuce varieties pop back up, which is nice.
Bob also included Everglades tomatoes in that barrel, and a few years later I added some more seeds, and every year they keep giving us more tomatoes. In South Florida, they grow pretty much all year, but here in Central Florida, there’s a few
months weeks where the vine almost – almost – dies, but then they’re back.
As for their taste, they’re almost candy-like, but not too sweet. They have almost no acid, at least not that I can taste, and they’re gorgeous on the vine. They’re small enough they won’t make a mess when you bite them, and while you’ll never get enough to make a spaghetti dinner (well, OK, maybe those of you with the wherewithal to not eat them as you pick them will, but I am not that person), they’re perfect in frittatas and other dishes. I’d caution against using them in stews or soups, because it’s a shame to share the flavor with other veggies, but in simple dishes, they really shine.
Here’s more info on my favorite Florida tomato ever, and if you want to get some, here’s where I order my seeds (although, again, the tomatoes simply keep coming back, which is nice, but maybe also an argument for container gardening.) They’re heat-happy and drought-tolerant, which I know because since we installed drip irrigation, anything in a container has to live or die by its own merits, despite my best intentions.