I once met someone who had attempted to mash a raw potato. Cooking good food for one’s children without giving them the skills to cook their own is an easy trap to fall into, but the know-how to produce delicious, planet-friendly and affordable food is a basic human need. Besides, teaching cooking is fun, and puts the power into your children’s hands. Give them ownership of recipes – of seasoning and what herbs and vegetables to use – and you will be amazed at how they take to it.
Mini cheese frittatas with bacon and herby greens
Use up any soft herbs that take your fancy – it is a lovely way of showing children their different smells and tastes.
Prep 15 min
Cook 40 min
3 tbsp melted butter
200g smoked bacon lardons or pancetta cubes
1 small red onion, peeled and finely sliced
300g green vegetables (I use a mix of blanched frozen peas or diced beans with spinach or Swiss chard, cut into wide ribbons)
6 eggs, beaten
120ml double cream
150g hard mature cheese (such as Ogleshield, Lincolnshire poacher or Cheddar), grated
A small handful of any soft herbs, chopped (e.g. basil, tarragon, parsley or dill, or a mixture)
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Brush a 12-mould muffin tin with melted butter and line each mould with a 200mm square of parchment (scrumple up the parchment squares first, so they slot in more easily, and brush these with the melted butter too).
Heat a nonstick frying pan over a medium heat and add a tablespoon of the melted butter and the bacon or pancetta. Fry gently for five minutes, until the bacon has released its fat and browned nicely. Add the onion, turn the heat down a little and continue cooking for another eight to 10 minutes, until the onion is soft and translucent. Finally, stir in the green veg, allowing any spinach or chard to soften in the fat for a few minutes, if using.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and whisk together. Whisk in the cream and three-quarters of the cheese, the herbs and the contents of the frying pan. Season with a little salt and pepper, then divide the mixture between the muffin moulds. Sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed up and golden. Serve immediately with a green salad and slices of bread.
And for the rest of the week …
Leftover herbs can be blitzed in oil and frozen in ice-cubes for future recipes: basil and mint into pesto, or parsley oil for omelettes.