I'd already decided to do an appetizer just because they're so easy to share, and since the goal was to encourage people to eat more vegetarian foods, I decided to make my dish vegetarian and dairy-free.
That was a hard decision to stick with after I decided to make the below Frittata Bites, because I knew I could kill it if I added prosciutto and goat cheese. Instead I included those in the end as optional add-ins, making this dish not only vegetarian, but also GF and DF! Pretentious? Perhaps ... but also inclusive while still being tasty!
Spring Vegetable-Mushroom-Tarragon Frittata Bites with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Coulis
Makes about 40 Frittata Bites (Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
For the Coulis:
2 red bell peppers
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Frittata:
1 bunch Tuscan kale or other leafy green, tough stems removed
3 teaspoon sea salt, divided
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for muffin tin
1 leek, white and light green parts thoroughly rinsed and chopped
1 pound mushrooms, diced
¼ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons fresh tarragon, chopped and separated
For the Coulis:
Roast peppers (I cut them in half, discard seeds and stem, then broil skin-side up until the skin is completely black – or turn until charred all over on a grill or gas stove), then place in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap until cool enough to handle, at least 15 minutes.
Heat a skillet over medium high. Add olive oil, then cook shallots until soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer to food processor. Once peppers are cool enough to handle, peel and discard skin. Add to food processor, along with sherry vinegar. Blend until smooth, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Set aside or refrigerate while you prepare the Frittata.
For the Frittata:
Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly grease mini muffin tin with olive oil.
Heat a large pot with 1 inch of water to boiling; add 2 teaspoons sea salt and stir in kale until just slightly wilted, about 1 minute. Remove to bowl of cold water to stop cooking. Squeeze kale dry, then chop.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high (I used the same one that I cooked the shallots in for the Coulis). Add olive oil, then cook leeks until wilted but not brown, about 4 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms have lost their liquid and begin to brown, about 10 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon salt and pepper, stir in kale, then transfer to a bowl to cool.
Once vegetable mixture has cooled for at least 10 minutes, stir in eggs and 2 tablespoons tarragon. Spoon mixture into muffin tin, filling almost to the brim. (If you only have one muffin tin, refrigerate Frittata mixture while first batch is cooking. If you use two muffin tins, rotate racks halfway through baking time.)
Bake for 20 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack to rest for 5 minutes. Gently lift frittata bites to cooling rack, then serve warm or at room temperature. Garnish with Roasted Red Bell Pepper Coulis and remaining 1 tablespoon tarragon.
Optional non-vegetarian and dairyful add-ins:
2 oz. prosciutto, chopped
Before cooking leeks, saute prosciutto in olive oil until crispy, about 2 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Fold in with eggs and tarragon before cooking frittata.
½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
Fold in with eggs and tarragon before cooking frittata.