Each year on St. Paddy’s day I try and come up with a new twist on corned beef and cabbage, cabbage and potato hash or chocolate stout desserts. This year I decided to lighten things up while still playing tribute to St Patrick’s Day of celebrating all things green.
While this is a classic Italian egg dish, I decided to turn it green and add a touch of the Irish with freshly shredded sharp Irish cheddar cheese. This egg pizza starts on top of the stove where the vegetables are all sautéed and is finished in the oven to set the eggs. If you leave the vegetables on the bottom and pour over the egg mixture this will resemble more of a crustless quiche. The milk helps to give the dish a custard texture. If you mix the vegies with the egg mixture it will be more like a traditioal frittata.
You can be as inventive as you wish with the fillings. Think seasonal and consider other green vegetables like asparagus and broccoli. Sometimes I will add tiny potatoes to make this into an all-in-one main course. I like to add a bright red garnish with either halved cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes. This is a wonderful vegetarian dish.
For your brunch start with an Irish Buck, Green Melon Mojito or a Cucumber and Prosecco cocktail and some avocado crostini. (If you’re watching your alcohol try a Virgin Mojito with sparkling water.) To accompany this vegetable crustless pie, consider warm fruit scones, slices of zucchini bread or Irish soda bread rolls. I like to serve a chilled melon plate on the side. For dessert consider going all out with either a stout float (a scoop of vanilla ice cream with chilled Irish stout in a tall glass) or my favorite Irish Coffee (strong coffee mixed with whiskey and topped with a cloud of sweetened whipped cream). If you want, you can also add some green frosted cookies or chocolate stout cupcakes to complete your afternoon brunch.
Leek, Zucchini and Spinach Frittata with Irish Cheddar
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 medium leeks, light green and white part only, finely chopped
1 zucchini, grated
1 small bunch baby spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, minded
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley or basil, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup grated Irish Cheddar, plus more for garnish
8 red cherry tomatoes or sun-dried tomatoes, halved
- Preheat oven to 325F.
- Heat the oil in a 9 or 10″, non-stick skillet with ovenproof handle (or cover a wooden handle with foil) over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté for about 7 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the leeks are light brown. Add the zucchini and cook for about 3 minutes or until softened. Add the chopped spinach leaves, cover and cook for about 3 minutes or until the spinach wilts. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.
- Combine the eggs, milk, salt, pepper and parsley or basil in a medium mixing bowl, and whisk vigorously until well blended. Stir in cheese.
- Pour the eggs over the spinach mixture in the skillet and mix the vegetables with the eggs. Place the frittata in the oven and bake for about 30 to 35 minutes or until just cooked through. Sprinkle the top lightly with extra grated Irish cheddar cheese and cook another minute or until the cheese has melted.
Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Arrange tomatoes in a circular pattern on the outer edges of the frittata. Serve in the skillet or slide onto a round serving platter and spoon some of the tomato sauce over the frittata. Serve immediately.
This is perfect over a salad of thinly slice pears, Medjool dates and red onion on a bed of Cara Cara, navelina or blood oranges. Or try it on a grilled romaine, radicchio, or baby gems and chicken salad with sweet heirloom or cherry tomatoes, bitter arugula, and salty feta or blue cheese.
Note: This can also be served at room temperature.
By Diane Rossen Worthington