Caramelized Leek Fritatta

023Frittata is the Italian word for omelette. I often use the words frittata and omelette interchangeably but, technically they are different. A frittata is flat with the ingredients mixed into the eggs, rather than used for a filling, as in an omelette.

The classic French omelette, with its light, fluffy texture, is best consumed immediately after preparing and waits for no one.

The Italian frittata is easier to get along with (especially if you are feeding a crowd) and doesn’t mind waiting while everyone enjoys coffee and conversation. This explains why frittate (plural) are rarely eaten hot and usually enjoyed in a leisurely fashion at room temperature.

This recipe works well with an oven-proof, 9 1/2-inch or 10-inch frying pan. However, I used a 12-inch pan, that as you can see in the photo, made a thinner frittata. I do this when I plan on making breakfast panini (No panini-maker needed, see directions below), which are perfect for an impromptu picnic after an early morning hike!. Frittate are so versatile, as they can be served for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as for brunch and merende.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 large leeks, sliced (4 cups) white and tender green tops
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper, several grinds
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, chopped
  1. Heat the olive oil and saute the leeks on medium heat until lightly caramelized and then season with salt and pepper.
  2. In a medium-size bowl, whisk the eggs until blended and then whisk in the salt , pepper and Parmesan cheese.
  3. Pour the eggs into the frying pan evenly over the leeks and reduce the heat to low. The eggs will cook for about 12- 15 minutes. Do not stir. When the eggs begin to set, sprinkle the parsley over the frittata. (Preheat the broiler and position the rack about 6 inches from the heat).
  4. Once the edges look done and the center is still moist, transfer frying pan to the broiler (make certain your pan including the handle is oven-proof) and broil 1-2 minutes, until frittata is firm in the center. Remove from oven and slide onto a cutting board.
  5. To serve, slice into wedges, arrange on a platter and serve with lemon-blueberry scones & mascarpone cream.

 

Breakfast Panini:

  • Rustic bread or baguette, sliced or
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • Frittata, cooked (room temperature)
  • Prosciutto slices
  • Provolone slices
  1. Prepare the frittata according to the above directions but, by using a larger frying-pan, the frittata will be thinner and perfect for panini. Once this flat omelette is cooked, you could wrap it well and refrigerate it until ready to use. (I make it the night before, so it’s a hassle-free morning).
  2. Cut the frittata to roughly fit the bread. Drizzle slices of bread with the olive oil and a pinch of salt.
  3. Using a skillet, toast one side of the bread and then flip over and top with the frittata, a slice of Prosciuuto, a slice of Provolone cheese and the other slice of bread (toasted side down on the cheese). Drizzle with olive oil and carefully flip the panini over. Cook, pressing down on the sandwich with the spatula. When the ingredients have heated through and the cheese melts, they are done.
  4. I usually cut each panini in half and arrange on a large platter. Served with macerated oranges and cups of steaming cappuccini, makes a stress-free, delicious meal to be enjoyed and shared with others.

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