A vegan frittata brunch

Vegan Frittata Brunch

From NGI's A Plating Palate series

Think a traditional eggy brunch is out of reach if you’re vegan? Think again. What if I told you that humble ol’ parsnips can be turned into a vegan "frittata," and carrots can become "bacon?" When hosting your next get-together, try this whimsical approach to showcasing plants on a classic brunch plate by using innovative techniques.

Not only is this menu filling, but it also bursts with color, texture and flavor. Replicate this caramelized onion, cremini and spinach "frittata" with roasted purple potatoes, pickled radishes, charred baguette, parsley relish and carrot "bacon." Plus, these three creative plating styles are sure to make your meal Instagram-ready.

For the first plating style, the elements are showcased by utilizing the perimeter of the plate. By leaving some of the plate surface exposed, negative space is achieved and helps the eye recognize the multitude of ingredients.  Start by spreading the parsley relish in a half moon shape. Next, drape each ingredient alongside the next, taking care not to fully obstruct any item.  Finish by scattering a few micro greens throughout to evoke motion and lend a pop of color.

The second style allows for an inviting, hearty portion by advantageously grouping each component into a compact pile. The plate highlights composure with each element slightly stacked in formation to build some height. A small amount of parsley relish is brushed on the bottom of the plate, to add dimension.

The final plate illuminates ease and is beneficial for a larger crowd. By transforming the components into a breakfast sandwich with a side of vegetables, the plate becomes a bit more casual When placing the ingredients on top of one another, allow each layer to remain exposed ever so slightly, adding depth and showcasing each element. Also note, the pale mint-colored plate is complementary to that of the ingredients, making them appear even more vibrant. Serve open-faced as a tartine or top with an additional piece of baguette for a more portable alternative.


Parsnip "Frittata"


  • 2 medium parsnips, peeled, cut into small rounds
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 cup packed baby spinach
  • Pinch of red chili flakes
  • 1/3 cup cashews, soaked overnight and drained
  • 2 tablespoons agar flakes


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Place parsnips in a medium saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Strain out parsnips and reserve liquid; set aside.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over a medium flame. Add mushrooms and ½ teaspoon sea salt and cook for 3-5 minutes, until lightly golden. Add onion and cook for additional few minutes, until softened. Fold in the spinach just until wilted. Stir in red chili flakes, and transfer mixture to a bowl.
  4. Transfer parsnips to a high-speed blender, along with cashews, agar flakes, and remaining ½ teaspoon sea salt. Blend on high, adding a small amount of parsnip cooking liquid, as needed, to achieve a cream-like consistency.
  5. Fold parsnip "cream" into the mushroom mixture.
  6. Transfer "frittata" batter into individual-sized, round, silicone mold and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden and set.

Carrot "Bacon"


  • ½ pound purple carrots, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon natural liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 275 F.
  2. Using a mandolin or peeler, slice carrots into 1/8”-thick ribbons.
  3. In a medium bowl, toss carrots with remaining ingredients. Arrange in a single layer on a Silpat (or silicone mat) lined baking sheet, and bake for 20-30 minutes, until crispy. (Note: If crispier texture is desired, the carrot ribbons can be deep-fried briefly for 10 to 15 seconds.)

Roasted Purple Potatoes


  • ½ pound purple fingerling potatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. Toss potatoes with remaining ingredients, and spread out on parchment-lined sheet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, or until crispy and cooked through, tossing halfway during cooking.

Pickled Radishes


  • 1 bunch radishes, trimmed, halved lengthwise
  • ¾ cup rice vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Pinch of red chili flakes


  1. Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil, take off heat, and allow mixture to steep for 10 minutes. Drain and cool before serving.

Charred Baguette with Parsley Relish


  • 1 baguette, halved lengthwise
  • 1 bunch parsley, stemmed, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt


  1. Char baguette halves over an open flame for 20 seconds per side.
  2. In a bowl, toss parsley with remaining ingredients.

(Bonus) Citrus-Infused Water


  • ½ pint kumquats
  • 4 cups filtered water


  1. Thinly slice kumquats crosswise and remove any seeds.
  2. Place in water, and allow to steep for at least 20 minutes or overnight in the refrigerator.

This post was originally published by the Natural Gourmet Institute. Learn more about today's Natural Gourmet Center.

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