Cooking with Chef Philip: A Simple Lite Brunch Menu

Coming from an Italian upbringing I thought I would start off the day with a nice Italian brunch type menu.

I’m a strong advocate for variety and simplicity for afternoon meals. Trying to get away from the usual boring stuff, anyone with just a little time on their hands can come up with some pretty ingenious ideas to feed a few hungry friends.

My menu today has the components of a healthy mid afternoon break that won’t over stuff you and make you feel sleepy for the remainder of the afternoon. Lunches should be on the light side yet satisfying enough so you won’t find the need to snack before dinner time. OK let’s get an apron and let’s start whipping it up.

Here’s my light brunch menu- Once again I’m keeping it simple and my yield is for two people.

1) Zucchini and yellow squash frittata

2) Tomato Bruschetta on a toasted croustade

For the Frittata: In order to get a visual idea picture an open face omelet. That pretty much defines what a Frittata is all about. I tend to like it with a little rise in the eggs. It’s a pretty simple dish to make. Using a 9 in saute pan ( Teflon coated with no rubber/ plastic handles works best). Now drizzling a little extra virgin olive oil on the bottom of the pan ( not too much oil) just a little splash works well. Here are the ingredients

For the Frittata

  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 large zucchini washed (and sliced thin 1/2)
  3. 1 large yellow squash (and sliced thin 1/2)
  4. 1/3 red onion chopped fine
  5. 1-2T chopped garlic
  6. 3-4 leaves fresh basil chopped fine
  7. 1/8 cup heavy cream
  8. 2 T fresh grated parmigiana cheese
  9. 3 t fresh Chopped Parsley
  10. 2 Slices of Mozzarella cheese
  11. salt and pepper
  • In a saute pan heat the oil. Whip the eggs add cream and parmigiana cheese.
  • Add the zucchini, squash, garlic and onions to the hot oil mixture, saute until ingredients become a little translucent.
  • Add egg mixture stir gently for even distribution season with salt and pepper. 
  • Do not fold – but better yet run the eggs from one side of the pan to the next. I usually do it four ways - top to bottom and then side to side. If no plastic or rubber handles I then place my pan in an oven and finish the frittata that way.
  • Once the egg becomes a little brown I place the mozzarella on and lightly melt it. Sliding the omelet onto the plate.
  • I let it rest for a minute then cut it into fours; each person getting two triangle cuts – I then garnish with fresh basil and chopped parsley.

You want to make sure the frittata is fully cooked and no loose runny egg is visible.

Or try the Gordon Ramsay version:

For the Tomato Bruschetta

Picture a well chopped salsa type constituency. I usually use a food processor or electric knife for this procedure. Although if you don’t have one chopping everything by hand, even though a little more tedious certainly can get the job done.

I like to use Rome tomatoes or plum tomatoes; I find these to be the best. That’s just my personal preference though any tomato will typically do.

I use a procedure called concusses. Basically this is cutting the tomato in half and deseeding it. No seeds are necessary in this accompaniment to the frittata.

Once the salsa is made I put it on sliced French bread that has been lightly toasted with extra virgin olive oil.

Here’s the ingredients:

  1. Three Rome tomatoes ( or 4or 5 plum tomatoes) cut in half and de-seeded
  2. three small cloves fresh garlic
  3. 1/4 red onion
  4. 2 single stalks of green onion
  5. 3T fresh chopped Basil
  6. pinch of oregano
  7. pinch of thyme
  8. 1/2 green pepper–no seeds
  9. 1/2 red pepper
  10. 2T fresh Italian parsley–no stems
  11. 1/2 cup Italian wishbone vinaigrette
  12. 2T extra olive oil
  13. 2T fresh parmigiana cheese
  14. salt and pepper to taste (just a pinch) although personally I love adding a little extra cracked black pepper
  15. 1/4 t balsamic vinegar– I like Modena

Now here’s the simple part – I just put it all in a food processor - and chop it till it blends and becomes a fine chopped constituency then I chill it for at least a half hour – it’s that simple.

Now with a large teaspoon I put a heaping spoonful on the toasted piece of sliced French bread that has been drizzled with a little olive oil and even dusted with some parmigiana cheese.

As a topper I sometimes cut a mini fresh mozzarella ball and place it on top. You can even put a piece of saute shrimp on it too. This is a great appetizer and a great accompaniment to the frittata.

Bon Appetit!