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Egg-White Frittata with Leeks
Egg-White Frittata with Leeks

Whether we serve them scrambled, poached or sunny-side up, the appeal of our morning eggs undoubtedly lies in their rich, golden yolks. But we're coming around to the egg-whites-only approach after trying the light frittata bianca from Nick Anderer, the chef at Manhattan's Maialino restaurant. The recipe appears in Elaine Louie's excellent new cookbook, The Occasional Vegetarian, and relies on soft sautéed leeks, fresh thyme and a sprinkling of sharp pecorino cheese to flavor the airy frittata's egg-white base. A pile of peppery, lightly dressed greens completes a brunch-time dish so delicious, you won't even miss the yolks.

Makes 1 to 2 servings

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 large leek, white part only, thinly sliced (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 large egg whites

3 tablespoons finely grated pecorino cheese

½ cup baby arugula

¼ cup mizuna leaves

Half a lemon

1. Preheat the oven to 350°.

2. In a 7-inch nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil with the butter over medium-low heat until bubbling. Add the leek and cook until soft, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Add the thyme, season with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute longer.

3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk the egg whites with 2 tablespoons of the cheese. Add to the skillet and gently scramble with the leeks over medium-low heat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula.

4. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 7 minutes, or until the center of the frittata stiffens (check by gently shaking the pan) and is fully cooked. Transfer the frittata to a plate, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and serve.

5. In a mixing bowl, combine the arugula and mizuna. Toss with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and additional lemon juice, if desired. Mound the greens on top of the frittata and serve immediately.

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