I often add leftover rice to gratins, something I learned to do in Provence. Here I decided to make a substantial frittata instead, with rice as part of the filling. Although I used brown rice, Calrose, basmati and jasmine rice also work well.
• 1 pound fresh peas, shelled (about 3/4 cup)
• 6 ounces pea shoots (1/2 big bunch), curly tendrils removed and discarded
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 bunch young spring onions or scallions, cleaned and finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
• Salt and freshly ground pepper
• 2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
• 1 tablespoon chopped chives
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
• 1 cup cooked brown rice, long-grain or short-grain (may substitute cooked basmati or jasmine rice)
• 7 eggs
• 2 tablespoons milk
1. Steam the peas over an inch of boiling water for 4 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to a bowl. Add the pea shoots to the steamer and steam 2 to 3 minutes, until just wilted. Remove from the heat and allow to cool until you can handle them. Do not discard the steaming water; pour it into a measuring cup. Squeeze out excess water from the pea shoots and chop medium-fine. You should have about 1 cup chopped leaves and tender stems.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat in a medium skillet and add the chopped spring onion or scallions. Cook, stirring, until wilted, about 3 minutes. Stir in the pea shoots and stir together for about a minute. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the peas, tarragon and parsley and about 1/4 cup of the steaming water, turn up the heat and cook, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat.
3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add about 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste), freshly ground pepper, and the milk. Stir in the rice, chives and pea mixture and combine well.
4. Heat the remaining oil in a 10-inch, preferably nonstick pan over medium-high heat until a drop of egg sizzles and sets within seconds of being added to the pan. Stir the frittata mixture and add it to the pan, scraping in every last bit with a rubber spatula. Shake the pan gently, tilting it slightly with one hand while lifting up the edges of the frittata with the spatula in your other hand, to let the eggs run underneath during the first few minutes of cooking. Once a few layers of egg have cooked during the first couple of minutes of cooking, turn the heat down to low, cover the pan and cook over low heat for 10 minutes, shaking the pan gently every once in a while. From time to time remove the lid and loosen the bottom of the frittata with a wooden spatula, tilting the pan, so that the bottom doesn’t burn. The eggs should be just about set; cook a few minutes longer if they’re not.
5. Meanwhile, heat the broiler. Uncover the pan and place under the broiler, not too close to the heat, for 1 to 3 minutes, watching very carefully to make sure the top doesn’t burn (at most, it should brown very slightly and puff under the broiler). Remove from the heat, shake the pan to make sure the frittata isn’t sticking and allow it to cool for at least 5 minutes and for up to 15. Loosen the edges with a wooden or plastic spatula. Carefully slide from the pan onto a large round platter. Cut into wedges and serve hot or warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 6 Servings
The cooked peas and steamed greens will keep for a day or two in the refrigerator; the completed frittata will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator and is delicious cold.
If you can’t get pea shoots, substitute 1 bunch spinach, stemmed and washed.
Nutritional information per serving:
235 calories; 11 grams fat; 3 grams saturated fat; 2 grams polyunsaturated fat; 6 grams monounsaturated fat; 217 milligrams cholesterol; 22 grams carbohydrates; 6 grams dietary fiber; 97 milligrams sodium (does not include salt to taste); 12 grams protein