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The Baltimore Sun

Recipe: Crespéou

Total time: About 1 1/2 hours

Servings: 6 to 8

Note: To make this ahead for a more dramatic presentation as an appetizer for a party, stack the omelets and weight them for at least 8 hours, refrigerated, to compress the layers. Slice into thin wedges or anchor with toothpicks and cut into bite-size squares like a Spanish tortilla.

1/2 pound fresh spinach, stems removed

About 4 tablespoons best-quality olive oil, divided

1 small zucchini, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

Coarse sea salt to taste

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

6 shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps wiped clean and thinly sliced

18 large eggs

2 anchovy fillets, drained and coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon tapenade

4 piquillo peppers, drained, dried and diced

2 tablespoons capers, drained

3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely chopped

1 tablespoon pesto

1. Fill a medium saucepan with water and bring it to a boil over high heat. Wash the spinach well in several changes of water and drain. Place the leaves in the saucepan, cover and cook over high heat until wilted, 15 to 20 seconds. Drain well, squeeze dry and coarsely chop. Press the spinach between paper towels to drain any additional moisture. Set aside.

2. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a heavy-bottomed 9-inch sauté pan over medium heat. Add the zucchini and garlic, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring constantly, until soft and starting to brown. Transfer to a small bowl.

3. Heat 2 1/2 teaspoons oil in the pan over medium heat. Add the shiitakes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until soft, then transfer to a small bowl. Wipe the pan clean.

4. Beat 2 eggs in a medium bowl with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooked spinach and mix well. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in the sauté pan over medium heat. When it shimmers, add the egg mixture and cook, stirring and lifting to make a puffy, open-faced omelet; the eggs should be set but still moist on the top. Slide onto a 10-inch serving plate, moist side up.

5. Beat 2 more eggs in a bowl and season with pepper only, then stir in the anchovies. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in the pan, cook the egg mixture like the spinach omelet and lay onto the spinach omelet.

6. Repeat with 2 more eggs and the shiitakes. This layer will not need additional seasoning.

7. Repeat with 2 more eggs, pepper only and the tapenade.

8. Repeat with 2 more eggs, salt and pepper and the piquillos.

9. Repeat with 2 more eggs and the zucchini. This layer will not need additional seasoning.

10. Repeat with 2 more eggs and the capers.

11. Repeat with 2 more eggs, salt and pepper and the sun-dried tomatoes.

12. Repeat with 2 more eggs, pepper only and the pesto, but carefully flip and slide this omelet onto the stack moist side down.

13. If serving immediately, cut the crespéou into wedges. Otherwise, weigh down several hours before slicing.

Each of 8 servings: 274 calories; 17 grams protein; 6 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 20 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 477 mg. cholesterol; 310 mg. sodium.

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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