A Frittata for Quinn

We have a brand new neighbor. She’s two weeks old. We have been eagerly gathering small trinkets for her ever since she arrived. Today we got to meet her! So we packed up our little gifts–a bay leaf bouquet for good luck; watercolor cards and ladybug painted rocks from the kids; a darling little turquoise onesie from a local store; and a potato-leek-rosemary frittata made with the eggs our chickens gave us this morning.

Frittatas are incredibly easy to make. They’re tasty and hearty, and one of our favorite ways to enjoy a savory egg dish any time of the day.

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Chickens
Photos by Brian Thompson

After gathering eggs on our sunny, frosty morning, we washed about a dozen, cracked them, and set them aside.

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We use a lot of butter in this household. I prefer Kerrygold salted butter because it has great flavor for cooking and baking. You can find it at Costco and Trader Joe’s at significant discounts. It keeps forever and can be frozen, so don’t fear buying in bulk.

So, if you’re following our method, add a generous chunk of butter, a good drizzle of olive oil, and fresh rosemary from our yard–all in the bottom of a cast iron pan. Then let it melt and muddle together over medium heat.

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Scrub and chop one large leek. You could use any type of onion, or shallots, and add garlic or additional herbs. I left the whites of the leeks whole, and chopped nearly the entirety of the green bits (except the tougher, frayed ends) into smaller pieces.

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Sprinkle leeks with sea salt and cracked black pepper, and stir to coat in butter and oil. I use a hoity-toity flake sea salt that dissolves evenly. Let leeks cook slowly until are soft.

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While the leeks simmer, shave about 5 medium fingerling potatoes using the large setting of a cheese grater, or cut very thinly with a good knife. I could have used our mandoline, but the cheese grater was faster given the size of the potatoes and the job.

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Add the potatoes to the leeks. Cover and stir periodically. I also added plenty of salt to taste, as both potatoes and eggs are a pretty blank slate for flavor additions.

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Finally, gently whisk the eggs with a fork about 7-10 times. You don’t want to over-mix. The slight separation of egg and yolk adds additional flavor and texture to the final product, and the bright yellow yolk alongside the pure white is quite pretty. If you look closely at the surface of the fork, below, you’ll see a ribbon appearance to the egg mixture, showing the separation of white and yolk.

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Add a pinch of salt, a sprinkle of black pepper, and a handful of chopped parsley and about a teaspoon of additional chopped fresh rosemary. You can use a variety of other favorite herbs at this point. Chopped sage or thyme would be great additions.

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Pour the egg mixture into the pan, covering the potato-leek mixture completely.

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Turn the heat to low (on my stove, I toggled between 2 and 3), and cover the pan to let it cook slowly from the outside in. It took about 10 minutes from raw to final, but I checked periodically to make sure nothing was burning. Don’t overcook. You want to just cook through until nothing is runny, and the center is firm.

Here’s the final product. Do you see the mottled yolks and whites? They offer a great change in texture and flavor as you dig in–especially the thicker, buttery bits of solid yolk. To test for doneness, gently tilt the pan in a circle to ensure that the egg mixture is solid and no liquid remains.

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Serve hot, if you can, although frittatas are notoriously easy to store and serve throughout the week for breakfast, lunch, snack, or dinner. We’ll often serve frittata alongside a winter kale salad and sauteed mushrooms. Shaved Parmesan and buttered toast optional.

Today, on this sunny Sunday, we bundled up in coats and hats and left the house like a small parade: The kids with their watercolor cards and painted rocks, Brian with the bay leaf bouquet, and me with our small food offering.

And we arrived at our neighbors’ house and were welcomed in to celebrate just about the best feeling in the world: A small, newborn baby, who cooed and sighed and snuggled in our arms for hours.

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