I was digging through old posts recently, and I realized I haven’t posted a frittata since July. JULY! I can hardly believe it. I felt like this blog was “frittata central” for a while there. I found some gorgeous cherry tomatoes at a local farmer’s market last week, so I decided to get back on the horse with Tomato and Leek Frittata from the September 2003 issue of Everyday Food. This recipe is special because it uses more egg whites than yolks. I’m used to using whole eggs in a frittata, so I was really curious to see how the texture and flavor of the dish would be affected.
First, I prepped my leeks. Leeks can be a bit tricky as an ingredient because they’re usually really gritty, but I love their flavor. I thinly sliced the white parts of 2 large leeks to yield 2 cups, placed the leeks in a bowl, and covered them with water. I swished them around, removed them to a separate bowl with a slotted spoon, and dumped the gritty water. Then, I covered the leeks with water again (this time in the new bowl) and repeated the process until there wasn’t any grit left in the bottom of the bowl. (I usually wash my leeks 3 times before using them.) When I was sure they were clean, I drained the leeks one last time and set them aside.
In a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, I heated 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. I added the sliced, cleaned leeks and seasoned with salt and pepper. I covered the skillet with a lid and cooked the leeks for 5 minutes before stirring in 1 cup of grape tomatoes. I put the lid back on the skillet, cooked the leeks and tomatoes for 2 minutes, and then transferred the mixture to a bowl. (Be sure to leave the burner on medium heat at this point – it comes back into play.)
In a separate bowl (yes, this recipe is a bit “bowl heavy”), I beat 6 egg whites with salt and pepper to stiff peaks and then folded in 4 egg yolks.
Next, I brushed the skillet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. I added the eggs, sprinkled them with the vegetable mixture and 4 ounces of crumbled goat cheese, and pushed the toppings slightly under the surface of the eggs. I cooked the frittata over medium heat until the sides were dry (3 minutes) and then transferred it to a 350F oven for 15 minutes.
The answer to the “egg white” question is “holy puff-ola!” When this dish came out of the oven, it had puffed up considerably. It’s kind of hard to see the height in this photo, but you can definitely see that the top has a different appearance and texture than the other frittata recipes I’ve posted on the site.
The frittata fell as it cooled (honestly, I’m not sure if this was supposed to happen), but it was still nice and thick in my book. I actually liked the way the edges stayed high and formed a crust.
Can we say YUM-MY? I loved the way the hot tomatoes burst in my mouth, and goat cheese and leeks are two of my favorite ingredients in just about anything. The texture was super light and fluffy but slightly crisp around the edges. It actually reminded me a bit of a popover. Mmmm. Dr. O and I really enjoyed this one, and I’m looking forward to making it again.
TIPS: This is another recipe for goat cheese lovers only. If you’re not a fan, I’d try feta or Gorgonzola instead.
Recipe link: Tomato and Leek Frittata