All photos by Garrick Ramirez
You’ll feel your endorphins start to tingle as you wind your way up to Sand Rock Farm, a bucolic overnight destination set in the Aptos countryside.
The idyllic property is lined with paths that meander through magnificent acacia trees, flowering gardens, and past a romantic old barn and ivy-covered winery ruin. Birdsong and trickling fountains fill the air as two scruffy little pups frolic nearby, pausing only to have their bellies rubbed by guests. Yep, it’s absolutely dreamy which helps explain its popularity as a wedding venue.
At the center of the estate is a gorgeous 19th century home with a cozy stone fireplace and big wood frame windows that flood interiors with light. This is where you’ll likely meet Jennifer and Derek Hagloff, the innkeepers that took over the property late last year. Together, they are convincing proof that every inn should be run by an event planner and professional chef, lending the perfect combination of care and culinary superpowers.
We could laze about the beautiful property all day, but mornings here are especially pleasant. Windows glow from cool morning frost, the scent of a wood-burning fire perfumes air, and mist envelops the moss-covered branches of gnarled old oak trees. And then of course, there’s breakfast. The morning feast is a seated, three-course affair that will have you satiated through dinner. You’ll start with yogurt cups adorned with fresh fruit and nuts, being careful to save room for a moist apple spice cake. But on a recent visit, the star was a savory veggie frittata ringed with a delicious cilantro pesto. We asked Derek to share the recipe below but you’ll have to visit to get a taste of that apple cake!
Goat Cheese Frittata with Herb Pesto By Derek Hagglof of Sand Rock Farm
● 12 eggs
● 1 1/2 cups half and half
● 1/4 cup melted butter
● 6 oz goat cheese, crumbled
● 3 oz shredded mozzarella
● 1 red bell pepper- diced
● 1 med yellow onion-diced
● 1 bunch kale or broccoli rough chopped
● 1 Tbsp. olive oil
● 3 cloves garlic- chopped fine
● salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste
● 1 tsp smoked paprika
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Crack eggs and whisk with half and half until combined. Add melted butter, good pinch of salt and cracked pepper.
3. Sauté onion and red bell pepper on med/high heat until slightly caramelized.
4. Add kale or broccoli and sauté another 2 min.
5. Add garlic and cook an additional 1 minute.
6. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
7. Combine with egg mixture and stir in cheeses.
8. Pour into 8×10 casserole or hotel pan. Bake at 375 for approx. 45 min or until cooked in center.
9. Cut out with round cutter and serve on breakfast potatoes with a ring of herb pesto on plate.
● 1/2 bunch cilantro- rough chopped
● 1/2 bunch parsley- rough chopped
● 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
● 1/2 cup olive oil
● juice from 1/2 lemon
● salt- to taste
Combine all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth. Season to taste.