Baked Rice Frittata
Frittata di Riso Infornata

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Baked Rice Frittata
Frittata di Riso Infornata
cookbook: Lidia Cooks from the Heart of Italy
main ingredients: arborio rice
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serves: 6 servings

This tasty frittata has a particularly pleasing texture, light and luscious like a souffle on the inside, with lots of crust outside, especially when baked in a heavy cast-iron skillet. It's an excellent brunch or lunch dish, served either warm or, if you want to make it ahead, at room temperature. And this lends itself to delicious variations: simply fold into the rice mixture a cup or more of sauteed onions and peppers, cooked crumbled sausage, or cubes of Taleggio, before incorporating the whipped egg whites.


3 tablespoons butter, soft
¼ cup bread crumbs
5 cups milk
1½ arborio rice
2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 eggs, seperated
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano
2 cups scallions , finely chopped


Standing electric mixer with the whisk attachment;


Heat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease the inside of a skillet with 1 tablespoon of the soft butter, and coat the bottom and sides thoroughly with bread crumbs. Pour out any loose crumbs. Pour 4 cups of milk into another saucepan, and heat rapidly, stirring in the rice, salt, and remaining 2 tablespoons butter, until the milk starts to boil. Lower the heat, and simmer, partially covered, about 8 minutes, until the rice has a loose custard consistency. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the remaining cup of milk, cooling the rice slightly. Whisk the egg yolks in a large bowl, just to break them up. Pour or ladle in the hot rice gradually, whisking well between additions, to avoid scrambling the yolks. Whisk in the grated cheese and chopped scallions. In another bowl, whisk the egg whites and a pinch of salt with the electric mixer on medium-low speed until the whites become foamy, then raise the speed and whip just until they form soft peaks. Fold the whites into the rice batter with the wire whisk, gently turning them over and breaking up any large clumps, until incorporated.

Pour the frittata batter into the skillet, and smooth the top. Set into the oven and bake for about an hour, until the frittata is nicely browned and a paring knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Place the skillet on a cooling rack, and run the knife blade around the sides to loosen the frittata. Let it set for about 10 minutes before unmolding. When the frittata has cooled slightly, lay a wooden cutting board over the top of the skillet, hold the two together, and flip them over. Rap on the upturned bottom of the pan and give it a good shake to release the frittata.

Present it on the board as is, or invert again onto a serving platter, browned side on top. Serve warm or at room temperature, sliced in wedges.

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