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A close relative of onions, shallots, and garlic, leeks are known for their subtle and sweet flavor. They are high in dietary fiber and contain vitamin c, folic acid, and potassium.
They are available year round, but are at their peak from September through April. You can find them at the Schenectady Greenmarket (Sun 10am-2pm), the Troy Farmers Market (Sat 9am-1pm) and the Saratoga Farmers Market (Sat 9am-1pm). Look for leeks that are long and cylindrical in shape, with tightly woven green leaves at the top. Avoid leeks that have wilted leaves or cracked bulbs.
To prepare leeks, cut approximately ¼ inch from the root end. Then trim off the dark green leaves from the top. What you have left is the light green and white edible portion of the leek. From here, cut the leek in the desired fashion, floating the finished pieces in a water bath; allowing dirt to sink to the bottom.
Slow Food SCCC will be demonstrating following recipe at the Schenectady Green Market on Sunday, April 18. Samples will be available! The Schenectady Green Market is held every Sunday from 10am – 2pm at Proctors. Free parking is available in the Broadway parking garage. For more information, please visit http://schenectadygreenmarket.org/.
Schenectady Greenmarket Frittata
This recipe was developed to highlight winter produce available at the Schenectady Greenmarket.
A frittata is an open-faced version of an Italian omelet. It is most often served as an appetizer or as a light lunch. Ingredients of the frittata can be changed very easily to take advantage of seasonal produce.
1 medium boiling potato
1/2 cup Romano cheese, Pecorino, grated
2 tablespoons parsley, fresh, chopped
6 each large eggs, whole
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
1/4 cup leek, sliced 1/8" thick
2 tablespoons shallot, minced fine
1 cup spinach, washed and dried
1 tablespoon Romano cheese
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil over medium heat. Wash the potato to remove any dirt from the skin. Add the potato to the boiling water and cook until tender but do not over cook. Remove the potato from the water and allow to cool. Cut potato into small dice leaving the skin intact.
2. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the pecorino and parsley and lightly beat to combine. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.
3. Heat a 10" non-stick sauté pan over medium heat; melt the butter in the pre-heated pan. Add the shitake mushrooms and sauté until tender. Add the potatoes, leeks and shallot and continue to sauté for approximately 2 minutes or until the leeks have wilted. Add the spinach and sauté until wilted, approximately 1 minute.
4. Add the egg mixture to the pan. Cook until the bottom of the frittata is lightly browned and the center is almost set. Place a large plate over the sauté pan and turn the frittata onto the plate. Slide the frittata back into the pan and allow to cook until the bottom is golden brown.
5. Slide the frittata onto the serving dish, sprinkle with the additional pecorino, drizzle with olive oil and allow to cool slightly before cutting. The frittata can be served warm or at room temperature.