I consider myself some sort of green-black thumb hybrid. I excel at dealing with the dead things (weeding is therapeutic), but the growing/keeping alive part is intimidating. So, I count my gardening efforts this Summer to be a major success.
What do those gardening efforts look like, you ask? Resuscitating a vine whose bloom I was positive had faded, fighting the heat to keep two tomato plants alive, and nurturing a basil plant from infancy to flourishing adulthood.
The latter was my shining gardening accomplishment. Mostly because my mom was the one who actually discovered the vine wasn’t dead and there’s a distinct difference between alive and thriving when it comes to my tomatoes. But the basil plant, in it’s hot pink, dollar store beach bucket has gone from baby to burgeoning over the past three months and I am oh, so proud.
What makes the basil success even sweeter (herbier?) is that we’ve used it! Tiny slices made their way into cheesey eggs and crockpot marinara. Handfuls went into a delicious pesto we ate on homemade pizza.
My endless supply of basil prompted this new take on Chile Egg Puff. It’s cheesy, eggy foundation is the perfect base for endless variations. This particular version plays on the classic Italian caprese salad of mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil.
I nixed the chiles from the original, adding diced fresh tomatoes and tons of julienned basil in their stead. Out went the cheddar and in came the mozzarella.
It may be sacrilege to the memories tied to the original Chile Egg Puff, but I might like this version better. Maybe that’s the basil pride talking… Either version has the same appeal – a protein packed, cheese riddled egg soufflé perfect for any meal of the day. Both egg puffs have been great to have around during No Sugar September.
A note about the tomatoes: I’m fairly particular about removing all tomato boogers before dicing. Cut tomatoes into quarters and run your thumb around the inside to loosen the snotty seeds. Discard and proceed with dicing your now booger free tomatoes.
To chiffonade basil: Stack basil leaves together. Roll into a little basil log. Place your basil log on a cutting board and hold in place. Slice through the basil log as thinly as possible. Separate all the tiny basil ribbons you’ve just created and resist the urge to throw into the air like they were dollar bills.
- 10 eggs
- 1/2 cup flour (whole wheat works great)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups (16 oz) cottage cheese
- 4 cups (1lb) mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup basil, chopped (I used 1/2 cup, but I love basil…)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 x 13 inch pan, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat eggs until light and lemon colored. Add flour, salat, baking powder, cottage cheese, mozzarella cheese, and butter. Mix thoroughly. Fold in tomatoes and basil.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan. Bake for 35 minutes or until top is golden and center appears firm.
- Serve immediately. (Negotiable. I like it at every temperature. But, it’s the most soufflé like straight from the oven.)