Yesterday I visited a charming little deli in Newlands called Gogo’s, a small family-run farm shop that specializes not only in grass-fed meats (including Happy Hog bacon), but the most delicious organic cheeses and yogurts. I stocked up on lovely stinging nettle goat’s feta, free-range eggs from Paarl and Stellenbosch, and blueberry and granadilla goat’s milk yogurts – made with just the fruit pulp and no added sugar – delicious!
It is so inspiring to see these passionate butchers and cheese/yogurt makers in and around Cape Town who value ethically reared meats and healthy hormone-free dairy. So on this beautiful, sunny Saturday morning, I share with you a couple of super quick and easy egg dishes for breakfast, featuring organic homemade cheese, as well as an updated recipe for ricotta.
Spinach and Cottage Cheese Frittata
4-5 free-range eggs
splash of organic milk
large handful of spinach
1/2 cup cottage cheese (see homemade recipe here)
chopped or dried herbs of your choice
salt & pepper
olive oil or butter
First, steam your spinach in a pot until wilted. Squeeze out as much liquid as possible and chop. Brush a frying pan with a little olive oil or butter and heat on medium-high. Whisk the eggs together with the milk, spinach, cottage cheese, herbs, salt and pepper. Pour into the pan and cook until almost set (about 8 minutes). Place the pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish cooking the top. Serve with more cottage cheese.
Individual Heirloom Tomato Omelette with Labneh
2 free-range eggs
1/4 cup baby heirloom tomatoes, halved
handful of chopped spinach, arugula and/or fresh herbs
salt & pepper
1 Tbsp labneh (homemade recipe here)
Heat a small frying pan over medium-high and brush with a bit of olive oil (or butter). Add the tomatoes and cook until they start to blister. Whisk the eggs together with the herbs, salt and pepper and then pour into the pan over the tomatoes. After 2-3 minutes the bottom should start to set. Once you can wiggle the omelette loose from the pan, flip it over to cook the other side. If you’re not confident in your flipping skills you can also use a spatula and fold the omelette over in half. To serve, top with labneh with a drizzle of olive oil and sea salt.
Ricotta, which means re-cooked, is a naturally sweet-tasting fluffy white cheese, traditionally made from just leftover whey – the liquid that is strained out during the cheese or yogurt-making process (see my recipe here). However, unless you are making a lot of yogurt or cheese at a time (with at least 5 litres of milk) the amount of whey that is left will unfortunately only produce a very small amount of ricotta. If you would like to increase the yield, you can add a bit of milk to the whey before bringing it to a boil. Here is an updated recipe for ricotta, using both whey and organic milk.
2 litres fresh whey
3 cups organic milk
1 tsp sea salt
2 tsp organic apple cider vinegar (diluted in a bit of water)
Start with room temperature whey. Place it in a pot and stir in the milk and salt. Heat slowly over medium heat to 85-95C (this should take about 20-30 minutes), stirring occasionally. You will start to see the curds forming. When it starts to boil add the vinegar while stirring constantly and remove from heat. Let stand for 10 minutes. Then carefully (it’s hot!) pour the curds through a cheesecloth-lined strainer over a bowl or the sink to strain. Let the curds continue to strain for 1-2 hours or until you have the desired consistency. The longer you strain the ricotta, the more dry/crumbly it will become. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a week. Makes about 1-2 cups of ricotta.