Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Very Veggie Pesach 2012: Spinach-Cheese-Quinoa Fritatta

I recently found a great recipe for a fritatta with spinach, cheese and grits. Most of it was easily adapted for Passover: eggs, cheese and fresh vegetables. The only problem was the grits (they're a corn product), but it occurred to me that quinoa would make a good substitute for grits.  Of course, as I've said before, there is some dispute as to whether quinoa is kosher for Passover. If you don't accept quinoa, that's OK: a frittata is essentially an omlette casserole, and it doesn't really need the grits or quinoa. you can just add more eggs and cheese, or some other vegetable.

This recipe is not vegan (includes eggs and cheese), but it is gluten-free and non-gebrochts.

Ingredients:

  • about 1/4 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 or 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 6 oz fresh chopped spinach
  • 1 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • 4 oz cheddar cheese, grated
  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste

Kashrut Notes:

  • Cheese requires Passover certification.  Miller's Cheese makes basic Romano and Parmesan cheese that are available in shakers, which you'll need for this recipe. For the cheddar, I highly recommend Cabot, which makes its wonderful sharp cheddar in a Passover run certified by the OU. You can order it from their websiteUPDATE: Cabot has discontinued its Passover run of cheese! Heartbreaking! There are other sources of Passover cheddar; I recommend Les Petites Fermieres if you can find it; I find it at Wegmans. Make sure it's certified for Passover; it isn't always. 
  • Quinoa was discussed extensively in a 2010 recipe. Short version: Not everybody accepts it as kosher for Passover, and nobody certifies it. UPDATE: Star-K is now certifying some quinoa for Passover! Woo hoo! See: http://star-k.org/cons_quinoa.htm UPDATE: Even OU now accepts quinoa, but of course they insist on using KFP certification.
  • The OU website confirms that extra virgin olive oil is kosher for Passover without special Passover certification. In the past, I have used Oliovita brand olive oil, which is Star-K certified kosher for Passover all year round.
  • Star K's website confirms that fresh supermarket produce is not a Passover problem, which covers the garlic, spinach and parsley. Note that this covers only fresh garlic! Dried, bottled spices and herbs require Passover certification. In the past, I have used bagged baby spinach in the past, but I'm seeing now on Star K's website that there are Passover questions about the ingredients they use for washing, so I guess it's back to regular bulk spinach.
  • Whole eggs are kosher for Passover but must be purchased before the holiday begins
  • Iodized salt is not kosher for Passover! Star-K's Passover Guide says that non-iodized salts that do not contain dextrose or polysorbates may be used, but ideally you should try to find salt with Passover certification.
  • Pepper also requires Passover certification. You can skip the pepper if you can't find it.

Preparation:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan or casserole dish with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with a light coating of the Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Simmer the quinoa in 2 cups of water until all the water is absorbed
  • While the quinoa is cooking, saute the garlic in the olive oil for a few minutes, until it becomes fragrant.
  • Add the spinach and parsley and continue sauteing until they are softened
  • Remove the vegetables and the quinoa from the heat and mix them together as soon as they are both ready
  • Add the cheese and mix well
  • Add the eggs, salt and pepper and mix well
  • Pour the mixture into the prepared pie pan and dust the top with more Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Bake for about 40 minutes, until the top is lightly browned
  • Allow it to cool for about 15 minutes, then cut into 6 or 8 wedges