June camping and a Spring Green Campfire Frittata

The first camping trip of the year was somewhat of a revelation: my kids have finally grown up enough to stay out of trouble while we’re out in the woods.

At ages 5, 9 and 11 they are tearing around the trails, making new friends, climbing stuff, inventing games and working up a ferocious appetite. After a decade of keeping them from falling in the fire or falling off a cliff, I can actually relax and putter around camp – a complete novelty.

Cooking outdoors is how I hygge in summer. I love it all. The camp kitchen set up. The campfire foil dinners. Cooking an early breakfast on the camp stove. Yes, even washing the dishes. It’s a good thing I enjoy the food prep aspect of camping because every few hours my crew was famished.

I probably could do a whole series from our weekend trip (that incredible no-roux one-pot macaroni & cheese…..a new and improved pancake mix…) but I am going to share an amazing Dutch oven breakfast full of fresh vegetables. It’s perfect for spring, whether you are camping or not.

This dish is buzzworthy for many reasons. It’s a one-pot, no-chop campfire power breakfast that is veggie-laden and contains bacon. Winning? Yes indeed. Camping food tends to be carb-heavy – which isn’t necessarily a bad thing considering I was doubling my step count goal every day – but one has to be intentional about including vegetables too.

This dish packs in enough vegetables for the day, which means you can graze on trail mix all afternoon and roast fat sausages for dinner.

Since the dish required mostly perishable ingredients, I planned this breakfast for our first morning, and saved the pancake mix for the second. Produce was washed and dried at home before packing in the cooler, and the cheese grated in advance, of course.

I trimmed the ends off the green onions and snapped the asparagus while the bacon was frying, but other than that, this dish doesn’t require a bunch of chopping.

A cast iron Dutch oven is essential for this dish. It holds the heat well and has a tight fitting lid, so we can pile coals on to the top to create 360° heat. You can cook the dish on low heat on a camp stove or in the hot coals of a campfire. I have done both and can tell you that the camp stove cooks it a little faster, but the fire adds a certain smokiness that is highly desirable.

The frittata does take a while to cook, however, so make sure you have a pot of coffee brewed and a good book on hand while you wait by the fire. Don’t rush the cooking or you’ll burn it on the bottom and the eggs on top will still be raw.

The amount of energy we burn while camping with kids requires a hearty breakfast just to get us going, so we start the day with plenty of protein, loads of veggies and big flavors. I served my spring greens campfire frittata with avocado, campfire hash browns, and a dash of Tabasco. We drank two full pots of camp coffee as well, and we were all set for our day of hiking, canoeing and swimming.

Spring Green Campfire Frittata
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Serves/Yield: Serves 4
Whether you are fueling up for a hike, wrangling small children or just tossing a Frisbee on the beach, this hearty breakfast will keep you fed up well through the morning.
Ingredients
  • 8 slices bacon
  • 5-6 small green onions, ends trimmed
  • small bundle of asparagus, ends snapped off
  • 1 cup of sliced mushrooms – any kind
  • 10 large eggs
  • fresh mild herbs, such as parsley or basil
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • a handful of fresh cherry tomatoes
  • Tabasco, for serving
  • 1 avocado, for serving
  • (optional: chive blossoms)
Instructions
  1. Heat a cast iron Dutch oven over a camp stove or campfire. Add the bacon and cook over medium high heat until nearly crispy. Remove from the pot and reserve. Drain off the fat into a small jar, leaving a little in the pot and reserving the rest.
  2. Toss the green onion and the asparagus into the pot. Cook together, turning occasionally, until the green onion wilts and the asparagus turns bright green. Throw in the mushrooms and cook for a minute or two. Remove everything from the pot and keep warm in tin foil.
  3. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat gently with a fork just to break the yolks. Tear the herbs up and add to the eggs; season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add a teaspoon of bacon fat to the pot and swirl to coat the bottom and sides. Pour in half the egg; then arrange the asparagus, green onions and mushrooms over the egg (do not include any juices that may have acuminated under the vegetables). Sprinkle ¾ of the cheese over the vegetables. Pour over the remainder of the beaten egg. Return the bacon to the pot. Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes and the remaining cheese over the top. Add a few herbs if you have any leftover.
  5. Cover the pot and place over low heat (low coals, rather than full flame). Carefully, with a pair of sturdy tongs, pile a few embers on the lid. Cook, covered, for about half an hour or until the egg is nearly cooked through. Time will vary with campfire heat, so just keep checking under the lid to see how the eggs are cooking. Remove from heat and let sit, covered, for about 10 minutes. The eggs will continue cooking during this resting period.
  6. Divide the frittata into four quarters and serve hot with Tabasco and sliced avocado. Finish with fresh herbs or chive blossoms if desired.
Notes
Note that cooking times will vary as not all campfires are created equal. Just try for an even medium heat and it should turn out fine.

About Aimee

Cooking has always been Aimée's preferred recreational activity, creative outlet, and source of relaxation. After nearly ten years in the professional cooking industry, she went from restaurant to RSS by trading her tongs and clogs for cookie cutters and a laptop, serving as editor here at Simple Bites. Her first book, Brown Eggs and Jam Jars - Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites, was published in February 2015.

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Comments

  1. Camping sounds so fun with older kiddos! We’re building our camping muscles slowly with our three and this recipe looks perfect for getting some good veggies in first thing.

    Now I need to find a cast iron Dutch oven for this summer!

    • I love how you guys are such hard core campers even with three little ones. You are laying such important ground work. I see it in ours. They are unfazed by stuff like bugs, peeing in the woods and gritty sandals. And they can sleep through anything in that tent!

      Try Canadian Tire for a decently priced cast iron dutch oven.

  2. My grandma gave me a cast iron dutch oven but it’s super grimy. I need to research how to get it back in shape and then this will be the first recipe we try!

  3. Shawnna Griffin says:

    hey girl- love the post! Those pics are so cool!

  4. I really enjoyed reading your sweet post!!! Love all your great pictures!! Keep enjoying your summer:)

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