I am a big fan of frittatas — whether whole egg, whole/egg white mix, or just egg whites — it is a great way to use some leftover vegetables – and, maybe, but not necessarily, just a little cheese as condiment.

So, I was surprised to learn a new addition to my usual frittata that I had never even considered: Greek Yogurt.  The UBIQUITOUS protein-rich greek yogurt.

It is from the New York Times fabulous health writer and recipe maven, Martha Rose Shulman. Her recipes always work, and she has this great technique of teasing out the flavors.  A recent recipe for a frittata with chard and green garlic – calls also for greek yogurt.

I made a successful batch this week.  Check it out!  And, tried it in another version of a frittata.  Everything Shulman devises works out well.

 

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In all the years that I have been coming to Italy — even with living here, I simply haven’t been here in puntarelle season!

Puntarelle (they never seem to have a singular puntarella version though it is certainly a singular green) are strictly a spring vegetable. It is a succulent curlicue green, barely bitter, served with a simple garlicky, lemony, anchovy-laden dressing. I have had it before, maybe once, but not here. Not in Rome. Not like that. This trip, I experienced it at a little ristorante in the Campo dei Fiore. Just feet away from the older Roman women who populate the market, making sure that all the goods are table ready. The greens are usually displayed in water baths. Talk about farm to table.

I am a fan of greens, despite the fact I was one of those granddaughters of Italian immigrants who was embarrassed by the fact that granny was out in the yard plucking weeds from the lawn to cook for dinner. I have asked Italians before just what puntarelle is (are?). They say it’s like dandelion (not quite) or chicory, which I find almost inedibly bitter. When in Rome, I heard the people behind me wonder what is that? But they didn’t ask me. So I did not answer.

Did I already say how succulent that salad was? I have a feeling I better order it every chance I get — it probably has a life span of a minute thirty.

Oh – techno-victory. I transferred that image of the puntarelle from my iPhone to my iPad — with a gerry-rigged setup of connectors not exactly made for that function.

I think I’m beebling.

My very sage friend, Amy, nudged me today to get back into writing my blog. We both agree that it just takes that first entry to get revved up again.

So, I make no promises that this will be coherent, but it will reflect my day and my thoughts nonetheless.

I went to the Greenmarket at Union Square in Manhattan on this beautiful, slightly overcast Spring day. It is a regular thing I do on Saturdays. I take my market bag — bought many years ago at a farmers market in Provence. It’s a lovely bag, sold by a French woman who had taken the classic market bag– and we’re talking hearty straw bag made in Morocco. With sturdy leather handles. And she handpainted it for sale at that market in Nyons.
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Roman homeless dude

When you’re trying to readjust your eating habits, think hard about pushing yourself out of your comfort zone.  Too often, I have seen people who go on a DIET eat the very same thing for pretty much every meal.  I’ve done it myself.  Hell, I DO it myself.  It seems so much easier when you know the POINTS® or calories or carb count (pick your poison) of what you’re eating.

Grilled chicken on mixed greens with oil and vinegar, or diet (ick!) Italian dressing.  It gets old.  The idea of eating like that for the rest of your life becomes depressing, and, bingo, you’re back to your bad eating habits again.

Can’t say this enough:  you are learning to eat for the rest of your life!  Toss out the diet, dammit!

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