A Taste for Tarragon: Leek Tarragon Frittata

| June/July 1997

Serves 4 to 6

Two of tarragon’s best flavor partners, leeks and eggs, are paired here in a simple, versatile, and delicious frittata. Frittatas not only make good breakfast or brunch dishes, but are also tasty lunch or light supper dishes and, cut into bite-sized diamonds or squares, perfect appetizers. For a hearty sandwich, place a portion between slices of country bread as Italian workers do. To clean leeks, make two lengthwise cuts about 1 ½ inches long through the tender pale green. Then fan the cut ends under running water to rinse out any grit.

  • 4 medium leeks, trimmed to the pale green and cleaned
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 8 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons chopped tarragon, or to taste
  • ¹/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Quarter the leeks lengthwise and dice them. Soften them in the butter and oil in a 6- to 8-inch frying pan and season lightly with salt and pepper.
  2. In a bowl, beat the eggs lightly. Add the chopped tarragon and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and mix well.
  3. Pour the egg mixture over the leeks and cook, uncovered, over low heat for 10 minutes. Then cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes longer, or until the bottom of the frittata is browned and the top is set.
  4. If the bottom is browned enough but the top is not quite set, invert a flat plate or pan lid over the frittata, flip the pan over, then slide the inverted frittata back into the pan and cook a minute or two longer. Serve the frittata hot, warm, or at room temperature.

Carolyn Dille is replanting much of her herb ­garden for the sheer dirt-under-the-fingernails pleasure of it. Culinary and medicinal herbs have been her special interest for many years. Her ­latest books are The Onion Book, with Susan Belsinger (Interweave Press, 1996), and Seasons of the Vineyard, with Robert and Margrit ­Mondavi (Simon and Schuster, 1996).

Click here for more tarragon recipes from the original article, A Taste for Tarragon.

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