Anybody following my blog/recipes over the years, is probably aware of my love of Middle Eastern food. As my familiarity and interest with Middle Eastern cuisine is due to my Lebanese husband and his family, I have over the past 33 years enjoyed eating, cooking and sharing this food with family, friends and the O’Live A Little community.
Turkish, Lebanese, and Persian food although different from each other, all share similarities that seem to be exotic compared to the basic American dinner of burgers and potatoes. Meat or tomatoes with mint and cinnamon, use of coriander, fenugreek, sumac and more, all create a deliciousness that, honestly rivals Italian food or I’d dare say is even better.
The lines of Turkish and Lebanese cuisine blur together more than Persian cuisine. Persian food comes mainly from Iranian culture with influences from Iraqi cooking, other Middle Eastern cultures, and the Indian subcontinent. This influence came through the network of routes used by traders for more than 1,500 years called the Silk Road. Turkish cuisine, also influenced by Middle Eastern culture, has taken cues Greece, Bulgaria, The Balkans, and Armenia. And, Lebanese cuisine reflects the country’s multiculturalism with influences from French, Italian, and Greek cuisines. The collision of all these cultures over the course of human history has created a unique, healthful and extraordinary flavor explosion that is not to be missed.
One of the commonalities of all these cuisines is often a fresh and deeply herby flavor. And, this is no exception when it comes to our Persian Frittata. Not your typical Italian style frittata, this style is less “eggy” and herbier. The added benefit is it is totally portable. Meaning it’s thin profile and slight denseness allows one to hold it in hand to enjoy. It makes a great warm weather, light meal or treat and is totally portable. Bring it hiking, camping, boating and to the beach. Serve it hot, warm or cold an if so inclined, enjoy with a side of hummus, fresh tomatoes and pita bread.
This Frittata is cooked initially on the stove and then finished under the broiler in the oven. You will need a 12" oven proof fry pan. Also, the recipe calls for Fenugreek and Turmeric. Fenugreek is an Indian spice that has a strong maple essence but is not sweet and is available on Amazon and other spice retailers. Turmeric can usually be found at most well stock grocery stores. If you don't have them already and don't want to buy them for this recipe, replace them with ground allspice and ground coriander which is more common in our spice cabinets. They will create an equally delish frittata.
8 ounces fresh baby spinach - chopped
1/4 cup fresh parsley - chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro - chopped
1/2 cup fresh dill - chopped
1/4 cup shallot - chopped fine
8 large whole eggs
1 teaspoon ground tumeric
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek leaf
2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons O'Live A Little's Gremolata Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup scallions chopped - use white and light green parts
2 large garlic cloves crushed
Turn broiler on to high and place oven rack close to broiler so when fry pan with the frittata is placed under it, there is approx. an 8" space between the frittata and the broiler.
If you have rinsed the spinach and fresh herbs, before finely chopping, make sure to dry well or use a salad spinner. These ingredients must be dry or the frittata will be watery.
Finely chop the spinach and herbs. Then add to them the finely chopped shallot.
Crack open eggs and scramble well in a bowl large enough to also hold the chopped spinach and herbs.
Add the tumeric, flour, salt, pepper & fenugreek to eggs and mix well to incorporate
Add the spinach and herbs to the egg mixture and mix well to incorporate
Heat the gremolata olive oil in the 12" fry pan on medium high heat. Add the scallion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes. Do not let the garlic brown. Turn down heat if necessary.
Before adding the spinach-egg mixture to pan, ensure the scallions and garlic are evenly distributed around the bottom of the pan.
Pour the spinach egg mixture into pan and cook for 5-8 mins on low to med-low heat until it is almost cooked thru
Place entire pan under broiler and broiler till totally set, 2-4 minutes.
Allow to cool slightly, (slide out of pan if desired), and cut into wedges. Can be served hot, warm, room temp or cold.
Serve with pita bread, hummus, tomatoes, cucumbers, radishes & olives if desired.