A very lush carmelized leek and goat’s cheese frittata with a roasted beetroot salad

January 29, 2011


Today I have the last of the lovely leeks we’ve been eating over the past few months from Philip Draper’s farm in Birr Co. Offaly. This week’s  beetroot, carrots and spuds also hail from there too. I love leeks. Slow cooked (in butter of course!) so they almost melt in your mouth, a caramelized leek has to be one of life’s great pleasures. It cries out for eggs and cheese (ham is pretty amazing too). I wanted to make an eggy tart that was much more about the filling than the egg, with way more filling than you get in say, a typical quiche or omelette. The egg is really more to hold the whole thing together than the main feature. Pastry just seemed a step too far for a week night so I made a frittata  instead. Way faster and healthier to boot. Yay! A frittata, in case you don’t know, is an omelette but easier. You don’t have to flip it you just cook the top part under the grill. The good part about this is that you can melt cheese on top and needless to say, that was a temptation just too hard to resist for me. Some rounds of goat’s cheese added a lovely bite which really offset the juicy sweetness of the egg and leeks. I also added some crème fraiche to the eggs which made things really lush. Some slow roasted beets in a mustardy dressing tossed with a handful of walnuts plus some crusty bread completely the meal.

It’s not a difficult meal at all to put together but slow cooking does mean…um… slow cooking so it’ll take a while. Patience is a key ingredient but the one that adds all the sweetness to both the leeks and beets. Get the beetroot going a couple of hours before you plan to eat. I always boil them up whole for up to an hour (for big bulbs) before they go in the oven. This you can do way ahead of time even a day or two before. I boil them whole and unpeeled and after they’ve cooled down a bit I peel then cut them into quarters or eighths depending on the size. Toss them in olive oil then pop into a medium oven (Gas mark 5) for a good hour and a half. Move them around every so often and after the first hour or so you can add a dash of balsamic vinegar which will spike the sweetness beautifully. They’re done when slightly wrinkled on the outside and completely tender with a little chewiness. I let them cool a bit then toss with a handful of broken walnuts and dress in the following:

A mustardy dressing for  roast beetroot (enough for about 600gr roast beetroot)

You’ll need:

2 tablespoons walnut oil

2 tablespoons mild olive oil

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (or sherry if you prefer)

1 teaspoon whole grain mustard

1 teaspoon honey

A pinch of crushed Maldon salt

The caramelized leek and goat’s cheese frittata (enough for 3- 4)

The frittata takes about 40 minutes but most of that is letting the leeks and butter do their thing over a slow heat on the pan. I’m planning on making this for brunch tomorrow and I reckon I’ll have plenty of time to read the papers while I “cook”. It sounds long but really you’re just waiting around keeping an eye on things hopefully drinking lattes and flicking through the style section if the kids cooperate (play quietly in a non life threatening fashion in the next room or further if I’m really lucky)

You’ll need:

700gr leeks

A very generous amount of butter for frying

Olive oil

3 large eggs

3 tablespoons crème fraiche

Salt and pepper

150gr soft goat’s log cut into 3 rounds

Trim the green part of the leeks and slice them into disks about 1 cm wide. Heat some butter along with a generous dash of olive oil and start to sauté over a lowish heat. They’ll take about 30 minutes to get the way you want them – supersoft and starting to caramelize. Keep an eye on things, turning them from time to time. You might even need to add more butter if things start to stick. When they’re ready, take off the heat and set aside.

Beat the eggs with the crème fraiche. Stir in the leeks then season with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper. Heat some olive oil in a small pan. Pour in the egg mixture and cook the frittata on one side over a lowish medium heat – you want the base to cook but not burn while the eggs get to a semiset stage. The best way to acheive this is in a good nonstick pan over a lowish heat. When you’re ready, take the pan off the heat and turn on your grill. Top the eggs with the rounds of goat’s cheese and grill until golden. Allow to sit for a minute or two before serving warm or at room temperature. Yummmmmmmmmy!!!

6 Responses to “A very lush carmelized leek and goat’s cheese frittata with a roasted beetroot salad”

  1. Maeve Says:

    Made this last night. It was so delicious. Will definitely make it again. Thanks!

  2. Ivana Says:

    We love frittatas (so quick and simple and tasty) so we made this one right after the delivery arrived on Monday and it was really delicious! I am not so sure about those beetroots because my man isn’t too keen on them in general but I hope it will be so good that he will change his mind 🙂

  3. Paul Says:

    Very tasty

  4. Dani Says:

    Sounds gorgeous

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