Gastronomy and Life's Other Pleasures

Follow me on my gastronomic adventures!

Posts tagged spinach

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Another lunch at the Flying Banzini (trying their online ordering system)
I was a bit short on time during the lunch hour one recent day, so I decided to put their take-out/online ordering system to the test. It is a pretty detailed system that asks you to spell out exactly what you want right down to specific sandwich toppings and condiments.  I placed my order, and, at my designated pick-up time, I arrived at the restaurant. It was a success! My order was ready to go, I simply had to pay and collect my yummy sandwich. I’ll definitely use their system again in the future when I need to get in and out quickly!
I am currently making my way through the Flying Banzini’s soft bun sandwich menu, so on that day, I went for the porchetta.  Described on their menu as “marinated pork loin stuffed with Luciano’s sweet Italian sausage, fennel seeds, sweet chilies, sage and sea salt, wrapped in bacon and slow roasted,” this sandwich was incredible. So many amazing flavours in each and every bite! I added fresh tomato and spinach as toppings as well as Major Craig’s mango chutney as my choice of sauce.  This is one beast of a sandwich, so come with an appetite! I think the porchetta has been my favourite of the Flying Banzini’s soft bun sandwiches so far, but I’ve still got a few to go before I make any final decisions! haha

Another lunch at the Flying Banzini (trying their online ordering system)

I was a bit short on time during the lunch hour one recent day, so I decided to put their take-out/online ordering system to the test. It is a pretty detailed system that asks you to spell out exactly what you want right down to specific sandwich toppings and condiments.  I placed my order, and, at my designated pick-up time, I arrived at the restaurant. It was a success! My order was ready to go, I simply had to pay and collect my yummy sandwich. I’ll definitely use their system again in the future when I need to get in and out quickly!

I am currently making my way through the Flying Banzini’s soft bun sandwich menu, so on that day, I went for the porchetta.  Described on their menu as “marinated pork loin stuffed with Luciano’s sweet Italian sausage, fennel seeds, sweet chilies, sage and sea salt, wrapped in bacon and slow roasted,” this sandwich was incredible. So many amazing flavours in each and every bite! I added fresh tomato and spinach as toppings as well as Major Craig’s mango chutney as my choice of sauce.  This is one beast of a sandwich, so come with an appetite! I think the porchetta has been my favourite of the Flying Banzini’s soft bun sandwiches so far, but I’ve still got a few to go before I make any final decisions! haha

Filed under food lunch Ottawa restaurant Flying Banzini sandwich pork porchetta bun tomato spinach fennell sausage sage sweet chilies pork loin hearty

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Weekend eats: breakfast egg salad
I’ve been wanting to experiment with my weekend breakfast choices lately, so I did some browsing on marthastewart.com for some inspiration and came up with this delightful concoction: breakfast egg salad!
Ok, ok, so it is just egg salad eaten at breakfast, but it’s not your traditional egg salad.  The hard-boiled eggs are chopped and mixed with Dijon mustard (I used grainy) and lemon juice for a lighter, more tangy egg salad.  I added some chopped green onion because that’s how I like my egg salad.  Martha gives you the option of leaving out some of the yolks for a slightly healthier version of this recipe. 
I piled my egg salad on whole grain toast topped with sliced avocado and spinach and served it with some fresh chopped fruit and coffee. This was totally delicious!  I loved the use of Dijon mustard and lemon juice for a totally different flavoured egg salad.  It was ridiculously simple and quick to pull together and I’ll be making this often!  Click on my photo to link to the original recipe.

Weekend eats: breakfast egg salad

I’ve been wanting to experiment with my weekend breakfast choices lately, so I did some browsing on marthastewart.com for some inspiration and came up with this delightful concoction: breakfast egg salad!

Ok, ok, so it is just egg salad eaten at breakfast, but it’s not your traditional egg salad.  The hard-boiled eggs are chopped and mixed with Dijon mustard (I used grainy) and lemon juice for a lighter, more tangy egg salad.  I added some chopped green onion because that’s how I like my egg salad.  Martha gives you the option of leaving out some of the yolks for a slightly healthier version of this recipe. 

I piled my egg salad on whole grain toast topped with sliced avocado and spinach and served it with some fresh chopped fruit and coffee. This was totally delicious!  I loved the use of Dijon mustard and lemon juice for a totally different flavoured egg salad.  It was ridiculously simple and quick to pull together and I’ll be making this often!  Click on my photo to link to the original recipe.

Filed under food breakfast brunch eggs egg salad avocado spinach green onion recipe Marth Stewart Dijon mustard lemon lemon juice toast bread whole grain weekend relaxing quick easy simple

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Lunch at the Flying Banzini (round 2)
I was excited to return for a second lunch at the Flying Banzini recently; my first experience was fantastic (see here) and I couldn’t wait to try another of their delicious sandwich creations.
After being warmly greeted by the owner, Dave Scharf (he is so incredibly friendly and helpful!)  I placed my order.  This time, I opted for the Swing Swing Swing panini, which contains smoked salmon, spinach, red onions, capers and dill cream cheese all on a rosemary focaccia bun.  I have an obsession with smoked salmon, so my hopes were high for this panini.  It delivered! The classic pairing of smoked salmon, red onion, cream cheese and capers is artfully and skilfully brought together in this panini; there was the perfect amount of each ingredient on this sandwich.  
Of course you don’t leave the Flying Banzini without also having one of their delightful mini cheesecakes! This time, I had the pumpkin cheesecake, which came topped with marshmallows - wow! The texture of this cream cheese was incredible: soft, silky and smooth.  I managed to scarf it down before I had the chance to take a photo so you’ll just have to use your imagination about what this little gem looked like!
Once again, I’ll be back to the Flying Banzini, hopefully sooner rather than later this time!  My next quest is to try one of their soft roll sandwiches…my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Lunch at the Flying Banzini (round 2)

I was excited to return for a second lunch at the Flying Banzini recently; my first experience was fantastic (see here) and I couldn’t wait to try another of their delicious sandwich creations.

After being warmly greeted by the owner, Dave Scharf (he is so incredibly friendly and helpful!)  I placed my order.  This time, I opted for the Swing Swing Swing panini, which contains smoked salmon, spinach, red onions, capers and dill cream cheese all on a rosemary focaccia bun.  I have an obsession with smoked salmon, so my hopes were high for this panini.  It delivered! The classic pairing of smoked salmon, red onion, cream cheese and capers is artfully and skilfully brought together in this panini; there was the perfect amount of each ingredient on this sandwich.  

Of course you don’t leave the Flying Banzini without also having one of their delightful mini cheesecakes! This time, I had the pumpkin cheesecake, which came topped with marshmallows - wow! The texture of this cream cheese was incredible: soft, silky and smooth.  I managed to scarf it down before I had the chance to take a photo so you’ll just have to use your imagination about what this little gem looked like!

Once again, I’ll be back to the Flying Banzini, hopefully sooner rather than later this time!  My next quest is to try one of their soft roll sandwiches…my mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Filed under food ottawa lunch sandwich smoked salmon cream cheese capers Wellington Street Flying Banzini Hintonburg focaccia spinach red onion dill restaurant review

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Weeknight supper: Pesto and rosemary chicken burgers

I don’t know why it took me so long to figure out how easy it is to make your own hamburger patties.  I mean, I was never buying the frozen ones (we like Farm Boy’s fresh lean ground beef hamburger patties) but it is just so undeniably simple.  The best part? You can add whatever flavours you want!

The husband really likes my chicken burgers, so I’m happy to make them for dinner!  This time, I changed up the flavour profile a bit by going for more of an herb kick.  

Pesto and rosemary chicken burgers

Ingredients

- 1lb fresh ground chicken

- 1 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary

- 1 tbsp pesto (I used store-bought basil pesto)

- dash of salt (I used my fleur de sel aux herbes de provence)

- freshly ground pepper to taste

- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (I used panko crumbs)

- 1/2 tsp garlic powder

- 4 slices fresh provolone cheese

- 4 buns of your choice

- fresh baby spinach and sliced tomato for topping

Directions

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.  Form into four patties. I recommend refrigerating the patties for a while before bbqing them; it helps them to stay together.

Cook the patties (bbq, stovetop - whatever your method) until cooked through.  Top with provolone and warm until melted.  Serve on a bun with spinach, freshly sliced tomato and any other toppings that you like!

Filed under food dinner supper turkey turkey burger burger pesto rosemary recipe homemade tomato spinach

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Weekend breakfast sandwich
Some leftover fried onions and mushrooms upped the ante on my weekly breakfast sandwich this past weekend, making it into one of the best that I’ve made lately!
A short side note: I also have an admission to make: I am addicted to corn-based bread products: corn English muffins and corn tortillas especially!  I have fallen in love with Thomas’ corn English muffins (see here) but have only ever been able to find them when the husband and I take our twice annual drive to New York State for some shopping.  So I buy a couple of packs and freeze them to use for breakfast sandwiches, as I have done above!  Delicious!  
Turkey bacon, egg and provolone breakfast sandwiches with fried mushrooms and onions - Serves 2
- 2 English muffins (your choice - I used Thomas’ corn English muffins)
- 2 eggs, cracked and lightly whisked in a dish
- dash of light cream or milk
- 2 slices turkey bacon (we love Lilydale bacon-style turkey slices), cooked until browned slightly
- 1/2 cup leftover fried onions and mushrooms
- 2 slices provolone cheese
- 8 large baby spinach leaves, bottom of stems removed
- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
- dash of fleur de sel aux herbes de provence (or regular sea salt)
- freshly cracked pepper
Directions
Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium high heat, and brown the turkey bacon.  Cut each slice into two pieces and set aside.  Turn heat down to medium.
Whisk eggs with the dash of light cream/milk and add the salt, smoked paprika and freshly cracked pepper.  Whisk well.  Use the same frying pan in which you cooked the bacon and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Add the leftover fried mushrooms and onions and warm through, then spread evenly in the bottom of the pain.  Pour the egg mixture over top and cook until just about set.  
Toast your English muffins at this point and set aside.
You will have what resembles basically an omelette; flip the entire thing to finish cooking the other side for a short minute.  Divide the egg down the middle to form two half moons; fold each in half.  Top each folded half with two pieces of turkey bacon, then a slice of provolone. Cover the frying pan to help the cheese melt.  
Plate your English muffins and top one side with the egg/bacon/cheese mixture.  Top with four pieces of spinach, then put the other half of the English muffin on top.  Serve with fresh fruit, lots of hot coffee and tea, relax and enjoy!

Weekend breakfast sandwich

Some leftover fried onions and mushrooms upped the ante on my weekly breakfast sandwich this past weekend, making it into one of the best that I’ve made lately!

A short side note: I also have an admission to make: I am addicted to corn-based bread products: corn English muffins and corn tortillas especially!  I have fallen in love with Thomas’ corn English muffins (see here) but have only ever been able to find them when the husband and I take our twice annual drive to New York State for some shopping.  So I buy a couple of packs and freeze them to use for breakfast sandwiches, as I have done above!  Delicious!  

Turkey bacon, egg and provolone breakfast sandwiches with fried mushrooms and onions - Serves 2

- 2 English muffins (your choice - I used Thomas’ corn English muffins)

- 2 eggs, cracked and lightly whisked in a dish

- dash of light cream or milk

- 2 slices turkey bacon (we love Lilydale bacon-style turkey slices), cooked until browned slightly

- 1/2 cup leftover fried onions and mushrooms

- 2 slices provolone cheese

- 8 large baby spinach leaves, bottom of stems removed

- 1/4 tsp smoked paprika

- dash of fleur de sel aux herbes de provence (or regular sea salt)

- freshly cracked pepper

Directions

Heat a small non-stick frying pan over medium high heat, and brown the turkey bacon.  Cut each slice into two pieces and set aside.  Turn heat down to medium.

Whisk eggs with the dash of light cream/milk and add the salt, smoked paprika and freshly cracked pepper.  Whisk well.  Use the same frying pan in which you cooked the bacon and spray it lightly with cooking spray. Add the leftover fried mushrooms and onions and warm through, then spread evenly in the bottom of the pain.  Pour the egg mixture over top and cook until just about set.  

Toast your English muffins at this point and set aside.

You will have what resembles basically an omelette; flip the entire thing to finish cooking the other side for a short minute.  Divide the egg down the middle to form two half moons; fold each in half.  Top each folded half with two pieces of turkey bacon, then a slice of provolone. Cover the frying pan to help the cheese melt.  

Plate your English muffins and top one side with the egg/bacon/cheese mixture.  Top with four pieces of spinach, then put the other half of the English muffin on top.  Serve with fresh fruit, lots of hot coffee and tea, relax and enjoy!

Filed under food breakfast sandwich english muffin corn muffin egg cheese turkey bacon provolone spinach brunch mushroom onion

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Week night dinner: slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches
This pulled pork kind of came about as a last minute idea; I had a pork loin that had been hanging around the freezer for a while (and taking up precious space) so I decided to finally do something with it!
I wanted to try a different slow cooker pulled pork recipe than what I had used last time. It didn’t turn out nearly as tender as the first time I made pulled pork. I’m not sure if it was the pork loin (vs the pork shoulder) or if I didn’t use enough liquid or what. I also found it quite acidic and not as sweet as I prefer.  It wasn’t perfect for me but it also definitely wasn’t inedible. The fiancé actually quite liked it!  
To add some sweetness, I shredded up a Gala apple to make a quick slaw to top the sandwich, which was great.  I’ll will definitely make slow cooker pulled pork again, but will take into considerations the lessons I learned when making this one.  

Week night dinner: slow cooker pulled pork sandwiches

This pulled pork kind of came about as a last minute idea; I had a pork loin that had been hanging around the freezer for a while (and taking up precious space) so I decided to finally do something with it!

I wanted to try a different slow cooker pulled pork recipe than what I had used last time. It didn’t turn out nearly as tender as the first time I made pulled pork. I’m not sure if it was the pork loin (vs the pork shoulder) or if I didn’t use enough liquid or what. I also found it quite acidic and not as sweet as I prefer.  It wasn’t perfect for me but it also definitely wasn’t inedible. The fiancé actually quite liked it!  

To add some sweetness, I shredded up a Gala apple to make a quick slaw to top the sandwich, which was great.  I’ll will definitely make slow cooker pulled pork again, but will take into considerations the lessons I learned when making this one.  

Filed under food sandwich pork pulled pork dinner supper apple spinach cilantro slow cooker

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Easy Saturday morning frittata
I felt like something a little more hearty for breakfast one recent Saturday, so I decided to put together a little oven-baked frittata.
It came out fantastic! Super flavourful and fresh, and packed with healthy ingredients.  I will be making this more often now that I know how simple yet delicious it is.
Oven baked frittata (adapted from Chatelaine)
Ingredients
- 6 eggs
- 1 green onion, finely chopped
- 8 slices of bacon, cooked, drained, cooled, patted dry to get rid of excess grease and chopped into small pieces
- 1/2 cup shredded old cheddar cheese
- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
- a couple of small button mushrooms, finely chopped
- a handful of baby spinach and kale, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs
- sprinkle of smoked paprika
Directions
- Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly grease a 9-inch pie place (using whatever you prefer - I used olive oil cooking spray).
- Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk briskly until combined.  Add salt, pepper, herbs and paprika (and any other seasonings you’d like!) and mix.  Add all of the veggies, bacon and cheese, and stir gently to combine.
- Pour into the greased pie plate and push the mixture around a little bit to make sure that all of the ingredients are fairly evenly distributed.
- Cook for approximately 25 minutes, or until the centre is just set.  Remove from oven and let sit for a minute or two.  Slice and serve with toast and fresh fruit on the side.

Easy Saturday morning frittata

I felt like something a little more hearty for breakfast one recent Saturday, so I decided to put together a little oven-baked frittata.

It came out fantastic! Super flavourful and fresh, and packed with healthy ingredients.  I will be making this more often now that I know how simple yet delicious it is.

Oven baked frittata (adapted from Chatelaine)

Ingredients

- 6 eggs

- 1 green onion, finely chopped

- 8 slices of bacon, cooked, drained, cooled, patted dry to get rid of excess grease and chopped into small pieces

- 1/2 cup shredded old cheddar cheese

- 1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped

- a couple of small button mushrooms, finely chopped

- a handful of baby spinach and kale, chopped

- salt and pepper to taste

- 1 teaspoon Italian herbs

- sprinkle of smoked paprika

Directions

- Preheat oven to 350°.  Lightly grease a 9-inch pie place (using whatever you prefer - I used olive oil cooking spray).

- Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk briskly until combined.  Add salt, pepper, herbs and paprika (and any other seasonings you’d like!) and mix.  Add all of the veggies, bacon and cheese, and stir gently to combine.

- Pour into the greased pie plate and push the mixture around a little bit to make sure that all of the ingredients are fairly evenly distributed.

- Cook for approximately 25 minutes, or until the centre is just set.  Remove from oven and let sit for a minute or two.  Slice and serve with toast and fresh fruit on the side.

Filed under food eggs mushroom frittata kale spinach red pepper green onion recipe brunch lunch breakfast healthy

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My perfect lunch

I put together this little spread as a special treat to myself one day recently.  I was craving a smoked salmon eggs benedict so this combination of ingredients really hit the spot (I can live without the hollandaise - I know, crazy right?)  I’ve finally figured out how to poach eggs effectively, so I’m proud of myself for that!  I topped a toasted english muffin with slices of smoked salmon, fresh baby spinach, chopped green onion, a poached egg and a sprinkle of smoked paprika.  Yum!  So satisfying.  Served with a bowl of fresh chopped fruit and a big mug of coffee and I couldn’t be happier.

Filed under benedict brunch coffee eggs english muffin food fruit green onion lunch smoked salmon spinach yolk

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This photo encompasses everything I love about the weekend:  relaxed, quiet mornings, breakfast sandwiches, hot coffee and a huge pile of freshly sliced and diced fruit. 
While I long for Panera Bread's delicious bagels, I'll have to settle for Tim Hortons, which recently came out with new “specialty bagels,” including sundried tomato asiago parmesan, jalapeno asiago mozzarella, maple cinnamon french toast, and mixed berry.  Though not nearly as tasty as Panera’s, Tim’s new bagels aren’t actually too horrible.  It’s a start, anyway, down the road to creative and yummy flavoured bagels! 
This breakfast sandwich is made with baby spinach, turkey bacon, an egg, a slice of cheddar and a sundried tomato asiago parmesan bagel.  Ahhhh how I long for it to be Saturday morning………

This photo encompasses everything I love about the weekend:  relaxed, quiet mornings, breakfast sandwiches, hot coffee and a huge pile of freshly sliced and diced fruit. 

While I long for Panera Bread's delicious bagels, I'll have to settle for Tim Hortons, which recently came out with new “specialty bagels,” including sundried tomato asiago parmesan, jalapeno asiago mozzarella, maple cinnamon french toast, and mixed berry.  Though not nearly as tasty as Panera’s, Tim’s new bagels aren’t actually too horrible.  It’s a start, anyway, down the road to creative and yummy flavoured bagels! 

This breakfast sandwich is made with baby spinach, turkey bacon, an egg, a slice of cheddar and a sundried tomato asiago parmesan bagel.  Ahhhh how I long for it to be Saturday morning………

Filed under food breakfast bagel sandwich egg Tim Hortons spinach saturday morning ritual

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Sunday night salad supper!
Occasionally, the boyfriend will pipe up to say that apparently we’ve been eating too much meat, and he needs to go meatless for a night or two.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the boyfriend loves meat, and to be truthful, we don’t eat that much meat (read: he can be a bit crazy), but I agree it’s nice to have a light, meat-free* supper once in a while.
Which brings me to salad nights.  Although we have very different tastes when it comes to food, we always eat together, even though it might not be the exact same meal.  The boyfriend will only eat caesar salad; my stomach has trouble handling caesar salad.  Hence, the salad you see here - my spinach salad - a big mix of veggies, fresh baby spinach, topped with stir-fried (frozen) shrimp, and served with a side of M&M Meat Shops chicken dumplings.  A hearty, healthy meal, meat free (*but not seafood free, haha) and delicious!

Sunday night salad supper!

Occasionally, the boyfriend will pipe up to say that apparently we’ve been eating too much meat, and he needs to go meatless for a night or two.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the boyfriend loves meat, and to be truthful, we don’t eat that much meat (read: he can be a bit crazy), but I agree it’s nice to have a light, meat-free* supper once in a while.

Which brings me to salad nights.  Although we have very different tastes when it comes to food, we always eat together, even though it might not be the exact same meal.  The boyfriend will only eat caesar salad; my stomach has trouble handling caesar salad.  Hence, the salad you see here - my spinach salad - a big mix of veggies, fresh baby spinach, topped with stir-fried (frozen) shrimp, and served with a side of M&M Meat Shops chicken dumplings.  A hearty, healthy meal, meat free (*but not seafood free, haha) and delicious!

Filed under food dinner supper salad spinach vegetables shrimp dumplings M&M Meat Shops

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A little cooking club for two
One of my bffs and I decided to start a little cooking club for just the two of us.  The purpose of our little club is to a) hang out, of course and b) try new recipes! 
We had our first ‘meeting’ the other night, and our inaugural recipe was quinoa cakes with poached egg from Annie’s Eats (click on the photo for a link to the website and recipe).
I’ve never attempted to make any sort of savoury cake, so this was a new challenge for me.  The cakes didn’t come together as beautifully as I had hoped, but I think with more practice, they will turn out successfully. We served our supper with a spinach salad on the side, with my homemade maple balsamic dressing.
All in all, we enjoyed a lovely evening of cooking, and the meal turned out deliciously, although I’d add a little something more next time to the cakes…perhaps some fresh chopped cilantro?  Hmmm…we’ll see.  I also froze the leftover cakes, so I’m curious to see what they’re like after having been frozen.

A little cooking club for two

One of my bffs and I decided to start a little cooking club for just the two of us.  The purpose of our little club is to a) hang out, of course and b) try new recipes! 

We had our first ‘meeting’ the other night, and our inaugural recipe was quinoa cakes with poached egg from Annie’s Eats (click on the photo for a link to the website and recipe).

I’ve never attempted to make any sort of savoury cake, so this was a new challenge for me.  The cakes didn’t come together as beautifully as I had hoped, but I think with more practice, they will turn out successfully. We served our supper with a spinach salad on the side, with my homemade maple balsamic dressing.

All in all, we enjoyed a lovely evening of cooking, and the meal turned out deliciously, although I’d add a little something more next time to the cakes…perhaps some fresh chopped cilantro?  Hmmm…we’ll see.  I also froze the leftover cakes, so I’m curious to see what they’re like after having been frozen.

Filed under food dinner quinoa egg poached egg spinach Annie's Eats healthy natural brunch main vegetarian

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I was very lucky to partake in this phenomenal brunch during a weekend away at a friend’s house.  This brunch bake took a lot of effort, a lot of cooking time, and a lot of careful watching to ensure that it solidified. 
But the result was both breathtaking and delicious!  A rich mix of egg, spinach, vegetables, ham and puff pastry, this breakfast pie was so tasty and filling, and served with a lovely fresh slice of cantaloupe.  Definitely among the brunches that I will never forget.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe.
Here’s the whole pie before it was cut.  Don’t forget, this thing is thick!!

I was very lucky to partake in this phenomenal brunch during a weekend away at a friend’s house.  This brunch bake took a lot of effort, a lot of cooking time, and a lot of careful watching to ensure that it solidified. 

But the result was both breathtaking and delicious!  A rich mix of egg, spinach, vegetables, ham and puff pastry, this breakfast pie was so tasty and filling, and served with a lovely fresh slice of cantaloupe.  Definitely among the brunches that I will never forget.  Unfortunately, I don’t have the recipe.

Here’s the whole pie before it was cut.  Don’t forget, this thing is thick!!

pie

Filed under food brunch breakfast spinach puff pastry egg vegetables pie