Egg-White Frittata with Sage-Braised Leeks, Goat Cheese, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

So I think this frittata will please most; it's fairly simple to put together, since all of the fun takes place in the same omelet-sized frying pan, and preparation plus cooking time totals about 30 minutes.  The inspiration for this recipe came partly from the positive feedback for the first frittata I put on this site, which I prepared with caramelized onions, shredded basil, shiitake mushrooms and goat cheese.  You see some of the same culprits here: crumbles of goat cheese float in the egg-whites, topped with some fresh shreds of delightfully fragrant basil.

The other part of my inspiration came from some sun-dried tomatoes I recently bought at La Tête Dans les Olives, an Italian produce store in Paris specializing in Sicilian goods, which also provides lunch or dinner for a grand total of 5 lucky guests per meal.  The owner of this store, Cédric Casanova, is in my opinion a genius: why not install a 5-person table in his boutique which takes up all possible walking space, provide both lunch and dinner consisting only of products he sells (the best endorsement idea ever), and charge 150 euros for the whole meal (Cedric encourages whole groups of 5 to book the table, in order to bring the cost down to 30 euros per person)?   I won't go into too much detail on the food he prepared, but I will say that if you find yourself in Paris and craving some authentic Sicilian fare, I would stop here for your capers, pasta, dried figs, dried oregano bouquets, tuna bresaola, and choices of about 15 different types of olive oil.  Here are some photos:

Needless to say I couldn't resist walking out with a bag of soft sun-dried tomatoes which had been lightly sprinkled with herbs and seasoning.  I also learned something new:  if you buy sun-dried tomatoes, it's best to buy them out of olive oil, and then place them in oil directly before serving along with some more fresh or dried herbs. 

In terms of this frittata, I had one other inspiration: soft braised leeks, which I cooked in walnut oil along with freshly chopped sage - braised leeks have the silkiest texture and a wonderful, slightly onion-y taste while still being gently to the palatte.  They are delicious in omelettes, served cold as a side, or in a sandwich.  I'm traveling by train today, and I think I'll prepare more braised leeks and put them in a sammy with goat cheese, toasted chopped walnuts, and basil.  Yum. 

I cooked it in a slightly different style from the last one on my site, which I learned from Jamie Oliver: cook one side of the frittata until set, flip it out of the skillet onto a plate, then slide it back onto the skillet to finish cooking the other side.  As long as you use a non-stick pan, this method is a cinch, and guarantees a well-cooked frittata. 

Buon Appetito!!

Egg-White Frittata with Sage-Braised Leeks, Goat, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes - serves 1

2 tablespoons walnut oil (or olive oil, or any other nut oil)
1 leek, end and dark green parts chopped off
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 tiny garlic clove, chopped (should make no more than 2 teaspoons chopped garlic)
4 egg whites
4 sundried tomatoes, thinly sliced
1 handful crumbled goat cheese
1 lemon (for to squeeze the juice out of)
4-5 fresh basil leaves, shredded

1.  Cut the leek in half cross-wise, then cut it again lengthwise, giving you 4 pieces.  Using your hands, break apart the separate strands in each leek piece, so that you're left with lots of thin slivers of leeks.
2.  Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small, omelet-sized frying pan over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2-3 minutes.
3.  Add the leeks, and sautee until leeks are slightly wilted, about 3 minutes.
4.  Add the chopped sage and enough water to cover most of the leeks, about 3 tablespoons.  Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper, bring to a simmer, and cook, covered, 10 minutes.
5.  Uncover and continue to cook until most water is evaporated.  Sprinkle juice from half of the lemon, stir, and remove from heat.  Drain any excess liquid.
6.  Reheat skillet over medium heat and add remaining oil.  Pour in egg whites, sun-dried tomatoes, goat cheese, and half of the leeks.  Heat until frittata is mostly cooked on the underside, tilting the skillet occasionally to allow uncooked egg-whites to run onto the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes.  When most of the frittata is set (except a runny center), press an upside-down plate over the skillet and invert the frittata onto the plate.  Gently slide the frittata back onto the skillet, and continue to cook until set, about 2 minutes longer.
7.  Top frittata with remaining leeks and the shredded basil.  Voilà.


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