Well, it’s January again, 2015 is underway, and resolutions are in full effect. Mike and I took advantage of our four-hour drive back to the city from Upstate after Christmas to talk through the coming year and think about what we’d like to accomplish. We both resolved to be healthier this year, so I’ve been thinking about ways to incorporate more vegetables into our meals.
I’ve also been in the mood for warm, cozy recipes and to me there’s pretty much nothing cozier or more perfect for grey winter days than roasted root vegetables. Frittata is one of my all-time favorite things to make for both brunch and dinner (other examples here and here) and this one uses a mixture of carrots, parsnips, and sweet potatoes lightly caramelized in the oven. The root vegetables are then pared with sautéed leeks, onions and thyme to combine the rich savoriness of the vegetables with fresh green flavors. A sprinkle of salty, crispy bacon balances everything out. Yum!
This recipe is the best of both worlds – it tastes so good and doesn’t leave me with a sense of deprivation – healthy eating I can get behind. And, you know it's good when I offer Mike a taste and he goes back for a second bite.
Roasted Root Vegetable, Leek and Bacon Frittata (serves 6-8)
1/2 cup (1 medium) parsnips
3/4 cup (2 medium) carrots
1 1/4 cups (2 small) sweet potatoes
1 cup (2 small) yellow onions
1 1/2 cups (3 medium) leeks
8 large eggs
1/3 cup 2% milk
2 strips thick cut bacon
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
3 tablespoons kosher salt, divided
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
Non-stick spray (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees.
Peel and dice the parsnips, carrots, and sweet potatoes into 1 inch pieces to make about 2 generous cups of root vegetables. Spread evenly on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and toss with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Roast at 400 degrees for 25-35 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork, turning halfway through the cooking time. Set aside.
After the root vegetables are cooked, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Place the two strips of thick-cut bacon on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, turning midway, until crisp. Drain the bacon on a paper towel and allow to cool slightly before mincing into 1/4 inch pieces - this will make about 1/3 cup of bacon.
While the bacon cooks, prep the onions and leeks. Remove the tough, dark green ends and the root from the leeks and cut the remaining white and light green stalk in half lengthwise. Rinse thoroughly with water to remove any sand. Dice the leeks into 1/4 inch strips and the onions into 1/4 inch pieces. In a large sauté pan or non-stick skillet, heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-low heat and cook the leeks, onions, 1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until translucent, about 10 minutes.
Once the onions and leeks are softened, add the roasted root vegetables and minced bacon to the sauté pan and stir to evenly combine. Spread the vegetable mixture in a 9 inch glass pie plate that has been coated in a light layer of non-stick spray.
Beat the eggs, 2% milk, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a medium mixing bowl. Pour the eggs over the vegetable mixture in the pie plate. The vegetables should be nearly, but not entirely covered.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes, or until the eggs are set and the top of the frittata is lightly browned. Jiggle the pie plate slightly to check – if nothing moves the frittata is done. Allow to cool about 5 minutes before serving.
Small Kitchen Friendly?
Fairly. I used two baking sheets, one large sauté pan, one medium mixing bowl, a medium cutting board and a 9 inch pie plate. I also used a chef’s knife, wooden spatula, whisk, vegetable peeler, liquid measuring cups and measuring spoons. Lining the baking sheets with parchment paper will also be helpful with clean up.
Honestly, I surprised myself with this recipe - to be honest, I was a little nervous about how it would turn out. Mike and I both really liked the balance of sweetness from the root vegetables with the savory flavors of the bacon and leeks. Mike says he’d eat frittata all the time, and we would both absolutely eat this frittata again. I served it with vinaigrette dressed arugula leaves and the combination makes this frittata a strong contender for brunch or for dinner.