Spring is here and along with the warmer temperatures and beautiful blooms, it is also the season of brunches. It usually begins with Easter, followed by Mother’s Day, and of course we’ve officially entered the season of weddings and bridal showers. I love brunch. It is such a wonderful combination of tasty dishes, sweets, and of course it’s not brunch without a refreshing mimosa cocktail.
This past weekend, my mom and I hosted a bridal shower brunch for my soon to be daughter in law. Even though our day was anything but spring like (crazy snow on and off all day!), inside it was warm and cozy and we had wonderful time celebrating such a lovely young woman. I tried out a new dish that I wanted to share with you all that was yummy, and the best part is it can be made ahead of time, and re-heated before serving.
A frittata is an egg based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crustless quiche and often includes additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses, vegetables and even pasta. I also had several quiches on the table and included the frittata for those guests with gluten sensitivities. Instead of making one large frittata, I put the egg mixture into muffin tins, making individual portions. I found this recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks for entertaining, Ina Garten’s Make it Ahead.
2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra for greasing the pans
1 1/2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, washed and spun dry
4 ounces sliced Italian prosciutto, coarsely chopped ( I omitted to accomodate vegetarian diets)
8 ounces fresh baby spinach
2 1/2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil leaves
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups grated Italian Fontina cheese
8 extra large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a standard 12-cup muffin tin with olive oil, including the top of the pan. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large (12 inch) sauté pan. Add the leeks and sauté for 3 minutes, until tender. Add the prosciutto (if using) and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, breaking it up with a fork. Add the spinach, tossing with tongs, then cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes, tossing once while it cooks, until the spinach is all wilted. Off the heat, stir in the basil and lemon juice and set aside for 5 minutes. Divide the mixture with tongs among the 12 muffin cups, leaving any liquid behind. Sprinkle the Fontina evenly on top.
In a 4-cup liquid measuring cup, beat the eggs, half-and-half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper together with a fork. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the filling in each cup, filling the muffin cups to the top. Sprinkle each frittata with the Parmesan cheese.
Bake the frittatas for 20 to 25 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned on top. If you insert a toothpick in the middle, they should feel firm. Cool for 5 minutes, remove with a small sharp knife onto a serving plate, and serve hot or warm.
** Make it Ahead:
Bake the frittatas, then cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to a day. Reheat for 15 minutes in a 350 degree oven.
**Note: Make sure you thoroughly grease your muffin tins. I made these ahead of time, and it was tricky getting them out of the pan.
Have a great week! ~May