Beyond chocolate bunnies, jelly beans and marshmallow chicks, I’ve never associated a specific food with Easter. When I was a kid, my mother would occasionally bake a ham pricked with cloves and draped with pineapple rings. Served alongside creamy scalloped potatoes and peas, it was the closest that my family ever came to a traditional, home cooked, Easter meal.
More often than not, on Easter Sunday we went out for brunch. Some years we hit an upscale buffet brimming with glistening Danishes, steamy scrabbled eggs, roast beef and shrimp cocktail. Other times we enjoyed a sit down meal of fruit- and cream cheese-stuffed French toast, eggs Benedict or chicken divan. Once again, there was no set cuisine or, for that matter, locale.
Oddly enough, I’ve married into a family that likewise celebrates this holiday with brunch. Taking into account that recurring meal, I’d like to share a fresh, easy, brunch offering, Spring Vegetable Frittata.
It may sound fancy but a frittata is nothing more than the Italian version of a French omelet. With omelets you fold cooked eggs over such fillings as cheese, onions or greens. In frittatas you mix these ingredients with the eggs and cook them together, leaving the dish open-face and finishing off it beneath a broiler. It’s a bit like a quiche but without the buttery crust and, in my recipe, cream.
SPRING VEGETABLE FRITTATA
Spring heralds the return of such seasonal treats as porcini/cepes mushrooms, leeks, spinach and tarragon. However, if you cannot find fresh tarragon, you can substitute dried.
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
8 ounces porcini/cepes mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1 large leek, whites and 1-inch greens chopped
2 cups firmly packed baby spinach, stems removed and roughly chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
8 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon OR 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
1/3 cup grated Romano cheese
Making sure that the oven rack is directly beneath the broiler, preheat your oven broiler.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté until they have softened slightly, 2 minutes. Add the leek, spinach, salt and pepper and sauté until the vegetables have softened, 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in large, oven-safe pan over medium heat. Swirl the oil so that the pan is coated completely.
As the oil is heating, whisk the eggs, tarragon and cheese together in a large bowl. Add the sautéed vegetables to the eggs and whisk to combine. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and allow the eggs to cook until they’ve set and the bottom of the frittata has browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Place the pan under the broiler and broil until the top of the frittata has puffed up and become golden brown in color, about 1 minute. Remove and serve immediately.