There are some major events going on this weekend in Melbourne. Four suburbs away from where we live, Formula 1 racing cars are tearing around our beautiful Albert Park Lake for the Grand Prix. The screaming din of these high-octane machines can be heard as far away as Sandringham which is almost 15 kilometres from the Grand Prix site. I have music playing here at home – a bit of Neil Young, Fleet Foxes, Grizzly Bear and some very loud Led Zeppelin thrown in for good measure – and I can still hear the constant gear changes of these noise polluting gas guzzlers.
Thankfully, we are leaving town in about an hour to make our way 70 kilometres southwest of Melbourne to lovely Geelong where Neil Young (yes, the actual Neil Young) will be performing at an outdoor concert. The event is known as "A Day on the Green" and several are held during the year with big-name artists on the bill, in the form of a half-day festival that is usually set up at a winery property. Victoria is home to many picturesque wineries and they provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor concerts.
Today we are going to see Neil Young and Crazy Horse at The Hill Winery, with support bands Husky (fantastic young, Australian, folk-inspired pop/rock band), and Shane Howard, former lead singer of Goanna (remember Solid Rock?).
The weather isn't looking too promising (after weeks and weeks of dry sunny days, the forecast for today is cold with showers – can you believe it?) but we'll make sure we're well prepared for whatever the weather may bring. Donned in my very fetching red plastic poncho and rainbow-coloured gum boots, I'm sure I will be wowing everybody with my high sense of fashion. We've got the picnic rug, fold-up chairs and a big hamper of food ready to go, including a batch of Greek Frittata that I prepared last night, the recipe for which I will get to in a moment.
But first, another very important event happening in Melbourne this weekend is the Lonsdale Street Antipodes Festival. Unfortunately we are going to miss out this year but if you're in Melbourne and interested in Greek culture, music and food, I highly recommend spending Sunday afternoon at the festival for a dose of good Greek fun and frivolity, or if you're a fan of the gorgeous Mihalis Hatzigiannis, he'll be headlining a free concert on the main stage in Lonsdale Street on Saturday night.
In the spirit of bringing some Greek flavours to the Neil Young mini-festival this weekend, I have prepared a picnic-friendly Greek Frittata and a simple Greek salad to take with us.
The frittata is made with classic Greek ingredients including spinach, feta, tomatoes, onions, red capsicum and oregano. It can be served warm or cold, the latter being the way we will be enjoying it at the concert today.
Greek Roast Vegetable Frittata with Spinach and Feta
- 1 large red onion, finely sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 150g baby spinach leaves
- 1 red capsicum
- 150g feta cheese, sliced to 5mm thick
- 5 whole eggs
- 5 egg whites
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 250g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
- Ground pepper to taste
- Place whole capsicum, coated in oil in a small oven tray and roast at 200 degrees celsius for 30 minutes or until starting to blacken. Remove capsicum from oven and place in plastic bag to sweat. When cool enough to handle, remove from plastic bag, cut in half and remove the skin and seeds. Slice lengthways to make approximately 8 slices and set aside.
- While capsicum is in the oven, cook onions over low heat for around 30 minutes until softened and caramelised. Add the garlic to the onion mixture in the last minute of cooking time.
- During the onion and capsicum cooking time, lightly beat whole eggs and eggs whites in a medium sized bowl. Add salt and oregano and set aside.
- In the last few minutes of onion cooking time, steam the spinach.
- Roughly arrange the onion and spinach in clumps around the base of a straight-sided baking dish that measures approximately 20cm x 30cm.
- Layer slices of capsicum over the onion and spinach, followed by the feta slices.
- Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese and arrange cherry tomato halves over the egg mixture, cut sides up.
- Grind cracked pepper over the tomatoes and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until lightly browned on top. The frittata is cooked if a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.