Frittatas are a such a wonderfully easy way to feed guests. They can work at any meal, cook quickly, and the eggy base can take on so many flavours. In this case we have a triumvirate of taste: a sweet leek base, a fresh basil hit all laced with a little luxury: saffron. I know these gorgeous red threads are ridiculously expensive, but if handled correctly you only need a tiny bit to permeate an entire dish with their wonderful, unique flavour. The key is to steep the threads in warm liquid: I usually use water but opted for milk here for a little extra creaminess. Just look at the colour!
This pinch of threads is only about a quarter of a tiny packet, less than $2 worth, and the flavour was amazing!
A few tips for this frittata:
- I’ve included fried potato to turn this into a meal of its own. With a side salad, and perhaps a little bread, this makes a perfect lunch. To simplify the recipe (and cut the cooking time) you can leave out the potato and you still have a wonderful breakfast or side.
- If you’re really in a hurry you can cheat further and mostly cook the frittata on the stovetop, almost like an omelet, then transfer to the grill to brown the top. It will cook in just a few minutes!
- Always remove a frittata from the oven when it is slightly underdone as it will continue to cook in the hot pan. If you overcook it the eggs dry out and ruin the texture.
This is a versatile dish, so don’t be afraid to experiment!
- 2 leeks, halved lengthwise then sliced into 1cm pieces.
- 2 waxy potatoes, diced into 1cm cubes
- 6 eggs
- ¼ cup milk
- Pinch of saffron
- Small handful basil, finely chopped (reserve a few leaves for the top of the frittata)
- 50g butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 180°C.
- Heat milk to just below boiling and add saffron threads. Allow to stand and infuse while you prepare the other ingredients.
- Melt 35g butter with ½ a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over a low heat. Fry leeks gently, stirring regularly, until translucent and tender (about 10 minutes). Set aside.
- Melt remaining butter and oil over a medium heat. Fry potato cubes, stirring regularly, until lightly browned and almost cooked (about 10-12 minutes).
- While the potatoes cook whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl then add the saffron-infused milk, leeks, chopped basil and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well.
- When the potatoes are ready turn the heat back down then add the egg mixture to the pan. Top with a few extra basil leaves, then move to the oven to bake.
- Allow the frittata to cook until lightly browned and almost set (slightly undercooked in the centre), around 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let stand for a couple of minutes to complete cooking.