Welcome to the fourth edition of Brunch-Off, our column devoted to brunch recipes. In a bid to get more people cooking seasonally, we’ll be featuring seasonal brunch and breakfast recipes every Saturday morning. The twist? We’ll be asking two food bloggers to give us their own brunch recipes featuring the same predetermined seasonal ingredient for a friendly competition. (And we want to hear your ideas, too.)
Up this week for Brunch-Off is one of my personal favorite vegetables: the leek. This quintessential cold weather, early spring veggie is as versatile as it is delicious. We asked food bloggers Laura of Fork Knife Swoon and Gina of Running To The Kitchen to show us how they cook with leeks. We think you’ll like the easy, tasty brunch dishes they came up with.
Laura of Fork Knife Swoon brings us a classic frittata for brunch:
This Mushroom and Leek Frittata recipe originally came about in an effort to use up some remaining fresh ingredients in the fridge before the honey and I left for a weekend getaway, but quickly became one of my go-to weekend brunch dishes. I started with some lovely whisper-blue heirloom Ameraucana eggs, then added leeks, sweet onions, baby Portabello mushrooms and a sprinkling of fresh herbs and goat cheese. I especially love this recipe for entertaining – it’s an easy and elegant dish, bursting with seasonal, savory flavors, and perfect for a crowd.
Mushroom and Leek Frittata
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 leek, white and light green parts, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 tbs goat cheese, crumbled
2 tbs parsley, minced
1/2 tbs fresh garlic, chopped
1 tbs olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350º.
2. Heat a 9 or 10″ oven-safe non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, onion and leeks and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about five to seven minutes.
3. Add the mushrooms and garlic to the skillet and cook until softened, about five minutes.
4. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs with the half-and-half and parsley. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and stir to combine with the vegetables. Sprinkle with the goat cheese. Let cook for 2-3 minutes until the edges begin to set.
5. Place the skillet in the oven and bake until the eggs are firm and the top is a light golden yellow, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing. Serve immediately.
Next, Gina of Running To The Kitchen shows us just how versatile leeks actually are, as she puts them in some (paleo!) savory muffins:
I have a love/hate relationship with onions. Cooked or even better, caramelized, they’re one of my favorite ingredients but raw, they’re one of the few things I just flat out refuse to eat. Any taste that lingers in your mouth after teeth-brushing is just gross in my book. When I came up with the idea for these muffins, I knew I wanted the flavor of onions but I wasn’t so sure a traditional onion would cook through enough while baking to deem it acceptable according to my onion rules. Enter the leek. They’re kind of the best of both worlds in that they have everything good about a cooked onion, without the really pungent bite of a raw one. They work perfectly in this muffin with the sun dried tomatoes and heartiness of the almond flour.
Sun Dried Tomato Leek Muffins
makes 8 muffins
- 1 large leek, chopped
- ¼ sun dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 small hot pepper, minced
- ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup almond flour
- ½ cup coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease muffin tin.
- In a medium skillet over medium-high heat saute leeks, tomatoes and pepper with ½ tablespoon of olive oil until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients.
- In a separate small bowl whisk together eggs, olive oil and almond milk.
- Add wet ingredients to dry along with leek mixture and combine with a spatula until fully incorporated.
- Scoop batter into muffin tins.
- Bake for 25 minutes.
- Let cool in tin for a few minutes before transferring to a rack.
- Best served warm with some butter.
Which of these leek recipes would you try for brunch?
All photos courtesy of Fork Knife Swoon And Running To The Kitchen