Monday, March 8, 2010

lebanese spring omelette—ijhee

this is the time of year when the parsley and mint are coming back to life in the Pacific Northwest, having gone dormant for a brief time of winter. i love exploring the garden to find these essential ingredients for our fabulous lebanese omelette that is perhaps more of a frittata than an omelette. it is very green, indeed, and full of nutrients with unique spicing of cinnamon and cayenne pepper. the recipe (page 141 of alice's kitchen) for ijhee is simple and easy-to-make. pictured above are ingredients: onions, both green and spanish, italian parsley, spearmint, flour, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, baking powder, and salt.

begin by chopping the spanish onion into a medium bowl; then mixing in a small amount of flour, baking powder, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and salt. next comes the finely chopped parsley, mint, and green onions. this parsley and mint are the first of this year's garden's harvest! my green onions were too tiny, so these came from the grocery store, and they're fresh enough to use all the greens and whites.

the greens are mixed well with the onion and dry ingredients, with the eggs as the last addition.

mix well so everything is covered with egg. heat up equal amounts of clarified butter and olive oil in a cast iron or non-stick skillet. when it is good and hot, the egg vegetable batter can be poured in entirely and spread evenly across the pan to make one big omelette (frittata), or drop in a 1/8 cup of the mixture forming little circles for individual omelettes that can be easily tucked into a mini pita round. when one side is golden brown, flip it over to complete the cooking. carefully lift out and onto a paper towel to absorb excess oil.

the big omelette can be quartered and makes 4 servings. this same recipe with 4 eggs makes about a dozen little patties that make fabulous appetizers, as pictured above. both versions are best served in pita pockets, with cured black olives, sheep or goat milk feta cheese, and sliced persian cucumbers on the side. besides being extremely tasty, these can be made ahead and served at room temperature. or you can make the batter ahead and cook the omelettes as needed. sahtein! and don't forget, if you make it with love, it will be delicious!

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