Frittata di Zucchine

August 27th, 2012
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Frittatas are Italy’s answer to the French omelette and the Spanish tortilla.  Fillings are limited only by what’s in season and the cook’s imagination – common inclusions in the frittata are asparagus, onions, or mushrooms, but just about anything can be used as a filling – even pasta! For this recipe, we’ll use zucchini, as they are in season almost everywhere in August. The filler should be lightly and simply cooked – a quick saute or blanch before being incorporated into the egg mixture.

There are three critical elements to a good frittata: a non-stick pan, low heat, and a (non-stick safe) spatula. The pan lets you cook the frittata without much oil, the low heat cooks the eggs through without burning, and the spatula is used to lift the edge as it cooks to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath.

Frittata di Zucchine

Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/8″ half-rounds
  • 7-8 large eggs
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 oz parmiggiano reggiano
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • pepper to taste

Special equipment: 10” non-stick skillet (adjust the recipe for larger or smaller pans by adding or removing eggs), silicone spatula

Directions:

In a bowl, beat together the eggs, onion, cheese, pepper, and salt until thoroughly combined – one consistency and color.

Saute the zucchini with olive oil over medium-high heat  oil for 6-8 minutes, tossing frequently. The zucchini should be limp but not translucent.

Reduce the heat to medium low. For a fluffier frittata, beat the egg mixture again to incorporate air, otherwise let the ingredients sit while the pan loses a little heat. Add the egg mixture to the pan, and leave alone for 30 seconds. For the first few minutes of cooking,  lift the edge of the frittata  every 30-40 seconds with a rubber spatula and angle the pan to allow egg mixture flow underneath.

Once the frittata is mostly cooked and a quick peek to the underside shows a nice brown crust, turn the frittata over. The usual method for doing is to place a plate or rimless cookie sheet on top of the pan, flip them over, and then slide the frittata back (uncooked-side down) into the pan.  Cook for another minute or so, and flip onto the serving plate.

If that operation seems too daunting and your pan is oven-proof, you can slide it under a broiler for a few minutes until the top is brown and crusty.

Frittatas can be served warm or room temperature.