This is one of chef Anthony Lombardo's favorite meals to make for himself. He takes advantage of access to small bits of prepped and sometimes cooked ingredients (including egg whites) from the restaurant to use in his own frittata. But those without the luxury of that pantry can buy small amounts of cooked quinoa, beans and even chopped kale leaves from the salad bar of health-minded stores such as Whole Foods Market. If you don't want to deal with four leftover egg yolks (see TIP), use egg whites in a carton.
- 1 or 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small shallot lobe, chopped
- 1/2 cup (1 ounce) lightly packed kale leaves, chopped
- 2 tablespoons cooked quinoa (see NOTE)
- 2 tablespoons homemade or canned, no-salt-added cannellini beans, drained
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 1/2 teaspoons stone-ground mustard
- Kosher or sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large egg whites, lightly beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a small nonstick, ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Once the oil shimmers, add the shallot and kale. Cook, stirring frequently, until the kale wilts, about 2 minutes. Add the quinoa, beans and water; cook, stirring occasionally, until the water comes to a boil and then evaporates, 7 or 8 minutes.
Stir in the mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Lightly salt the egg whites.
Increase the heat to high and let the skillet get hot for about 10 seconds, then pour in the egg whites, stirring to incorporate what's already in the pan. Cook until the egg starts to brown around the edges, then transfer to the oven.
Cook until the eggs are set, about 5 minutes; they shouldn't move when you shake the skillet. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes, then transfer the frittata to a plate. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil, if desired, and eat.
NOTE: To cook quinoa, combine it with twice as much water in a bowl. Soak for at least 15 minutes or up to overnight, then drain. Combine 1 part soaked quinoa with 1 1/4 parts water in a saucepan over medium heat. Once it begins to boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until tender and the liquid has been absorbed, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from the heat; let it rest, covered, for 10 minutes before fluffing the quinoa with a fork. The cooked quinoa can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 1 week or frozen for up to 6 months.
TIP: Refrigerate leftover egg yolks for up to 2 days by storing them, covered with water, in an airtight container. Freeze four yolks by adding 1/8 teaspoon salt or 1 teaspoon corn syrup (depending on whether you plan to use them in savory or sweet dishes); strain and separate into four portions (an ice cube tray works well) and freeze.
From Lombardo, executive chef at 1789 in Georgetown.
Tested by Joe Yonan.
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