This recipe was assigned to me recently by my sister Julie who got it from my mom, who got it from one of her friends in Tucson’s Saddlebrooke Community where she and my dad live. It was originally labeled as a frittata, but I’ve looked up frittata recipes and most seem to call for first cooking in a skillet and then a quick final step under the broiler. This recipe is more like a casserole, so I’m going to call it that.
The flavor combination of note in this dish is the feta cheese, dill, and mint. It has proven especially popular as a staple at Julie’s yard sales. She hosts about three a year. Yes, hosts, as if throwing a party. And in a way, she is. She blasts an email out to all our friends and they show up with their old stuff for a morning of selling to the same people who come to every yard sale (the lady on the bike, the guy who only buys jewelry, the character actor best known for his roles on Seinfeld), sipping coffee and then mimosas, and nibbling on whatever dish she’s whipped up. It used to be her Seven Layer Mexican Dip; now it’s this one, which I’ve been told is much more South Beach friendly. Sometimes there are donuts, too.
Egg Casserole with Leeks and Feta Cheese
- ¼ cup long-grain brown rice
- ¾ cup water
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. plus 2 tsp. olive oil
- 3 leeks, white and 2 inches of the green, chopped and washed (spring onions can be substituted)
- 3 zucchini unpeeled and coarsely grated
- 3 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh dill (dried dill works fine)
- 8 eggs, lightly beaten
- 8 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1) Bring the rice, water and a large pinch of salt to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer, covered for about 20 minutes, until the rice is cooked and the water is absorbed.
2) Preheat oven to 325F.
3) Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and sauté the leeks, covered, until soft, 10-15 minutes.
4) Remove from the pan and over medium heat, sauté the zucchini, uncovered, until the zucchini softens, 5-7 minutes. Season the zucchini with salt and pepper.
5) Combine the rice, leeks, zucchini, mint, dill, feta, salt and pepper and eggs. Mix well.
6) Oil a 9x9 baking dish with the remaining 2 tsp. of oil. (A 9x13 will work too, but the casserole will be thinner.) Pour the eggs and vegetables into the dish.
7) Bake for 35-40 minutes, until golden and set. Cut into squares and serve warm.