This recipe captures spring for me, and today I have just-picked spinach, fresh, fresh eggs, organic local milk, feta cheese, and ramps -- my new favorite flavor. Ramps are a kind of wild leek which grow in the spring from the Carolinas to Canada. They look like skinny leeks and taste like a combination of garlic and onion (heavy on the garlic). If flavor were a color a ramp tastes green; it tastes like something just out of the ground. Both the slender bulb and the milder tasting green leaves are edible. Ramps perk-up many dishes that call for onions or garlic and guests will ask what the interesting flavor is.
I first saw this recipe in an old cookbook, one of my favorites, and one that inspired me to want to write about food: Patricia Wells' Trattoria. I've tweaked the recipe to suit my tastes and you can do the same. You may also increase any and all the proportions to increase the yield. You can serve the frittata at room temperature, which makes it easy to keep around to eat as a high-protein, delicious snack. With a salad, crusty bread and roasted spring parsnips, it's a meal. Enjoy!
Spring Frittata, for 4-6 servings
6 large, organic, fresh, room-temperature eggs
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste
1/4 chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ramps, bulb and leaves
4 cups loosely packed fresh spinach leaves, rinsed, dried, and finely chopped
1 cup (4 oz.) crumbled feta cheese
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Preheat the oven broiler.
Crack the eggs into a large bowl and beat lightly with a fork. Add everything except olive oil and combine lightly.
In a 9" ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat, swirling to coat bottom and all sides. When the oil is hot but not smoking, add the frittata mixture. Reduce heat to low and cook slowly, stirring just the top of the mixture, leaving the bottom to set, until the frittata is brown on the bottom and not quite cooked on top -- egg will be loose -- about 4-5 minutes. With a spatula, loosen frittata from edges of pan.
Transfer the pan to within 5" of hot broiler. Broil until lightly brown on top and slightly puffy and firm, about 2 minutes. Watch carefully so as not to over cook.
Remove from broiler and let cool. Serve from the pan (if it's a nice one like a fancy Cuisinart), or invert onto a pretty plate. Serve at room temperature.
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