For some reason, spring and Easter make me think of lemons. The bright yellow color, the refreshing acidity, even the compact ovoid shape are just so vernal to me! For Easter brunch this year I thought I would serve recipes that feature lemons, and Lemon Frittata with Leeks and Goat Cheese sounds perfect. The only problem is, I am not especially fond of either leeks or goat cheese. I find the cheese rather cloying, and the only time I have had leeks they made me feel queasy. I am thinking of substituting spinach and scallions for the leeks, and possibly my favorite queso fresco for the goat cheese. On the other hand, maybe I will give both of these ingredients one more chance and prepare the recipe exactly as it is written. After all, spring and Easter are both times of rebirth and renewal. Perhaps my taste buds will be reborn and renewed and I will find these flavors to my liking now!
Lemon Frittata with Leeks and Goat Cheese
1 Meyer lemon, zested
3 oz. goat cheese
1 1/2 T. olive oil
2 large leeks, trimmed and cleaned (see Note)
1/3 C. chopped Italian parsley
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the broiler. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl, then stir in the lemon zest. Crumble in the goat cheese.
Slice the halved leeks crosswise to create half moons. Heat 1 T. olive oil in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until softened, about 10 minutes. Stir in the parsley and cook just until wilted. Remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cool for a couple of minutes, then pour into the egg mixture and stir.
Reheat the skillet over medium heat with the remaining olive oil. Pour the egg mixture into the hot skillet and cook for 10-15 minutes until the frittata is mostly set. Use a spatula to lift the edges and allow uncooked egg to run into the bottom of the pan.
Put the frittata under the broiler for 3-5 minutes, until the top is golden brown and slightly puffy. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Slide onto a platter and serve immediately. Serves 6.
Note: Be sure to clean the leeks thoroughly, as they are often full of sand. Trim the leeks and slice them in half lengthwise, then rinse in a bowl or sink filled with water. Swish them around vigorously. You can also slice them into half moons and put those into a bowl of water, then drain in a colander after rinsing. (The pieces will float; lift them out by hand, and do not pour the whole bowlful of water and leeks through the colander or you will just mix the sand back in again). Dry the leeks as much as possible to avoid causing the hot oil to splatter when cooking. Also, the recipe calls for a Meyer lemon, but if this is unavailable I'm sure a regular lemon will do.
Update: The frittata was excellent! I wimped out and did not use leeks. Instead, I bought baby Vidalia onions, which are abundantly available right now here in Georgia:
|Baby Vidalia onions with a Meyer lemon.|
I thinly sliced the bulbs, quartered on the thick parts and halved on the thin parts. I also stirred in about 3 oz. baby spinach with the parsley, and threw in about 2 T. sliced scallions at the last minute just because I had them. I did use the goat cheese, and am pleased to say that I found it delectable in this dish! It is still not my favorite cheese when eaten alone, but as a cooking cheese I would definitely use it again. I am not sure I would bother to seek out another Meyer lemon -- next time I will try a regular lemon to see if I notice a difference.
I just couldn't resist photographing some of the beautiful spring produce and eggs I used for our Easter brunch. Everything was so fresh and vibrant -- I even had a few naturally green eggs laid by Ameracauna chickens that I found at The Fresh Market!