Friday, 28 March 2014

Springing a Leek!

Frittata di Patate, Porro & Peperone & Maggiorana Fresca
Potato, Leek & Pepper Frittata with Fresh Marjoram

Do you love leeks as much as I do? Their sweetness and their rich, almost buttery flavor and texture? Well if you do- you will love this simple frittata which makes the most of the leeks great flavor... and if you don't? Good! That means there will be more of it for me and everybody else to enjoy!

Seriously though, leeks are so delicious, I often wonder why I don't cook with them more. They are the big-brothers of the already mild Spring onions, which have a much more delicate and fresh flavor than a regular onion- and these are milder and sweeter still... so what's not to like?

I wanted to make something quick and easy, so as the weather is slowly becoming more and more "Spring-like" and the temperatures are not quite so low anymore, I decided to make a frittata, an Italian omelette filled with fresh Spring flavors rather than the leek and potato soup I had been contemplating... and it was much more fun to eat too!

To make it I needed 5 small red potatoes. 3 eggs, a red pointy pepper and a little fresh marjoram, a little salt, pepper and nutmeg and about 30 minutes time in all. I think that's doable on a Friday evening... in fact, I know it is... because I did it!

The only real "work" involved in making this was the slicing and pre-cooking the leeks, potatoes and the pepper, before layering them up to form the frittata. I did this to make things speedier and to be sure that the potatoes in particular were nice and tender and soft by the time the eggs had set- and also to cut down of the fat in this dish... that's right! They were not fried in oil or butter- remember, this is one of MY recipes and not just your ordinary and average omelette here!

I started with the leek slices, which I popped into my frying pan with just enough water to cover the surface, sprinkled them with salt and pepper and let them bubble along until the water had evaporated away. By that time they had softened up and the color had changed considerably, turning a few grades brighter- and I then carefully removed them using a spoon to keep them intact and set them to one side.

I did the same for the potatoes but as soon as the water had evaporated away the first time, I repeated the procedure... they do take a little longer, but 5 minutes in all is plenty.

Last but not least came the pepper, to which I added a little sugar as well, just to amp-up the sweetness and give them a hint of a caramel glaze... yummy!

Next, before the fun began, I turned on the oven to 350° to warm up and then quickly cracked and whisked together the eggs, seasoning them with salt, pepper and nutmeg, but not mixing them too thoroughly as I like to taste the mixture of white and yolk in a frittata- it gives more depth of flavor and the look prettier too.

So, continuing on as I had begun, after giving my non-stick pan a quick rinse, I poured in just a little of the beaten egg and then began layering out the 3 ingredients, the potatoes first, then the leeks and the peppers on top. I added a little more salt, pepper and nutmeg, poured a little more of the beaten eggs on top and repeated building the layers. 

You will notice there was no cheese used in this and the reason is simply that I wanted to have a clean and different flavor than the usual and also, to keep the fat down and make it a more healthy meal... I mean- just look at it! Do you have any doubt that this would be anything BUT super-delicious?!? Exactly! So why add extra fat to it!?! One thing I did add was a nice sprinkle of cumin seed and a last dusting with nutmeg and pepper- I wanted this to taste terrific after all!

I managed 3 layers in all in my little frying pan, which gave it a nice bit of thickness and made for a very pretty look. I let is bubble away for 5 minutes on the stove top but then popped it into the oven for a further 5 minutes to set and a final 2-3 minutes under the broiler to get it nicely golden and brown.

I then left it in the oven to "rest" for 5 minutes or so before serving up, allowing it give off a little excess steam and settle down and cook all the way through before attempting to slice and serve and enjoy... because enjoyment is what this is all about!

Before serving, I added the finishing touch, which was a generous scattering of fresh marjoram- so terrific with the potatoes of course and great in combination with the sweet peppers and leeks... yes, all in all this was a pretty terrific little meal!

And one that I hope you might enjoy too!


  1. This is the magic of cooking—you start out with ingredients for soup, get inspired and wind up with a colorful, tasty omelette.

  2. This is the magic of knowing how to cook and not caring for recipes... if you only follow recipes, you will never learn to improvise and there is so much to discover all by your lonesome than from any book or blog! ;-)