Things need to be simple sometimes. Take this frittata. Yummy, certainly, but so demure in appearance that I felt compelled to make it look like a carrot just to add a little visual impact.
Like it? My 10-year old did.
But really. As much as we’d like to, it’s impossible to deliver exquisite fare every night. Especially on weeknights. Or when one of your kids is sick, as currently is my case. Between making fresh-squeezed orange juices and sweetened cups of decaffeinated black tea, pillow proppings, forehead kissings and book readings, there’s been little time left over for, God forbid, anything remotely work related. Oh, and then there’s dinner.
Even with sickness in the house, we still need to eat. What to do?
As long as I have a few eggs, some Parmigiano Reggiano and a zucchini in the fridge, which I usually do, we are good to go. Last night, it was leftover butternut squash soup, frozen Alexia rosemary rolls (heated up, clearly) and this frittata. While no one in our house was calling Food & Wine or Southern Living magazines with the night’s fixings, no one went to bed hungry either. Sometimes that’s enough.
It has to be.
making zucchini frittata
Slice 1 large zucchini into 1/2 inch medallions.
Place the zucchini on a plate or tray and sprinkle with sea or kosher salt. Flip the zucchini over and sprinkle with salt again. Let them rest for 30 minutes to an hour.
When you return to the zucchini, you’ll see big drop of water on each slice and you’ll notice water on the bottom of the plate. While this step is not necessary, I find that the salt draws just enough water out of the zucchini that it doesn’t make the frittata taste a little soggy when you bite into it. Also, sprinkling the slices allows some of the salt to seep into the zucchini slices, seasoning them very nicely.
Remove the zucchini slices from the wet plate and blot them with paper towels. You want them nice and dry or they will not cook and brown properly.
Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10-inch skillet on medium high heat. When the oil starts swirling in the skillet but is not yet smoking, add the zucchini medallions. Make sure you arrange them in a single layer in the pan, as they will cook better. You may need to cook the zucchini in two batches.
Once one side of the zucchini is nice and colored flip over and cook the other side. Don’t they look wonderful? Once they are thoroughly cooked, take them off the heat and set aside.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, break 4 large eggs. Add 1/2 cup of Parmigiano Reggiano, 4 -5 optional torn basil leaves, sea salt and fresh-cracked pepper to taste. Mix well with a fork. Add the cooked zucchini slices.
Once again, mix thoroughly.
Heat the same skillet in which you cooked the zucchini on high heat and add 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Swirl the oil around the pan to cover the whole bottom. When the heat is just about to start smoking, add the egg mixture to the pan. Arrange the zucchini with a fork so that they are all in one layer within the egg mixture. Cover the pan and allow to cook for 2 minutes.
At that point, lower the flame to medium and allow it to cook until you see the egg solidifying in the center of the skillet. Then slide the frittata onto a large plate. Then, flip it back into pan on its uncooked side. Cook for a few minutes more, lifting the frittata gently with a thin spatula to make sure the crust is not over-browning.
Slide once more onto the same plate you used for the flipping and allow to cool. Makes 4 servings.