Feting Friends and Zucchini Frittatas

September 7, 2007

I’m headed to San Francisco tonight to fete my friend’s 40th (for the second year in a row) and Christopher and Noe are going to meet me there tomorrow morning for a picnic with some of our city friends. I woke up bummed that I wouldn’t see them tonight, what with this being the big “day care” week, but I had to smile when I saw Christopher’s note on the kitchen counter.

“Baby, would you leave your frittata recipe for me? I’ll make a couple tonight to bring to the picnic.”

I mean come on, how great is that? It’s Friday night and my husband is opting to be home alone with his daughter making frittatas. Lord I love that man.Zucchini blossoms0002

And I love this frittata. Mind you, I grew up on frittatas. My mother would clean out the fridge once a week for her version of a frittata. But this one—THIS ONE—was unlike anything I’d ever had before.

The recipe dates back a few years, to our first trip to Orvieto in the Umbrian hills. We were staying at Locanda Rosati, hosted by the larger-than-life Giampiero Rosati and his brother-in-law Paolo, the chef. One evening’s antipasto was this Zucchini Frittata. Simple, unadorned, it was served in wedges at room temp and was somewhat uninspiring at first sight. But when I took a bite, it was like a flavorful savory custard in my mouth. I couldn’t get enough. So I pestered Paolo for the recipe and eventually pieced it together between his English and my Italian (who knew parsley in Italian was prezzemolo?). And here I share it with you . . . and Christopher.

{ Zucchini Frittata }

3/4 pound zucchini
3/4 pound onion
1/4 pound tomatoes
salt and pepper
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
8 large eggs, beaten, salted and peppered

Slice the zucchini and onion crosswise very thinly, preferably on a mandolin, and place in a big bowl. Dice the tomatoes and add to the bowl. Salt and pepper the vegetables liberally and toss to mix well.

Heat ¼ cup olive oil in a large salt pan and cook vegetables over medium heat for ten minutes, or until tender and just softening, but not yet brown. Stir in parsley and set aside to cool for five minutes. When slightly cooled, pour vegetables back into the large bowl, add the scrambled eggs, and mix thoroughly.150x150WHblogging_57

Heat a large, nonstick salt pan over high heat, and when hot, add the remaining olive oil. Wait until the oil is shimmering but not smoking, and gently pour the egg and vegetable mixture into the pan. Lower the heat to medium and cook, shaking the pan occasionally, until the center of the omelet is almost firm, about ten to twelve minutes.

Place a large plate or platter  (larger than the rim of the pan) over the pan, facing down, and gently flip the pan over, sliding the omelet upside down onto the plate. Gingerly slide the omelet back into the pan, still upside down, so the side that was just browned on the bottom is now on the top. Gently tuck the edges under with a spatula and cook until firm throughout, about another ten minutes. Slide onto a plate and serve either warm, room temperature or chilled.

Serves 8 as an antipasto

What to drink? We had this with a nice, crisp Orvieto Classico at Locanda Rosati, which paired perfectly. Along a more mainstream line, I’d recommend a Pinot Grigio or even a Sauvignon Blanc that played more on citrus notes than herbal or grassy ones.

This post is part of Kalyn’s Kitchen Weekend Herb Blogging. Thanks for hosting Katie (from Thyme for Cooking)!

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15 Responses to “Feting Friends and Zucchini Frittatas”

  1. Katiez Says:

    I can see why you liked this! I love the Spanish Tortilla at room temp – but this sounds even better! And great picnic food!

  2. Bobbie Says:

    Hi Lia –

    I just found your blog from the new listings on Blog Catalog. I did a double take when I saw the photo on this post. We grow zucchini in our vegetable garden and that plant in the photo is a ringer for one at the edge of our garden!

    Oh, and thanks for the frittata recipe. I’ll give that a try.

  3. Jo Says:

    OMG. Do you know where I spent three of the nights of my honeymoon? Locanda Rosati! The most amazing place……the food, the beautiful wood carvings in the bedrooms (I am wracking my brains but I think we were in fox and grape?), the wonderful hosts…..I loved Orvieto too. Also a big fan of frittatas…..see how this post made me grin!

  4. Jo Says:

    Okay just came back to compare frittata recipe with mine and I have a question: by scrambled eggs do you mean beaten? For me a scrambled egg is a cooked dish…..Thanks, Jo

  5. lia Says:

    Katiez — Totally like a Spanish tortilla . . . although the zucchini makes it a bit lighter than the traditional potatoes in the Spanish version. Lately I’ve been thinking about playing with a mushroom and thyme version . . . hmmmm . . .

    Bobbie — Does yours have those spots too? I can’t tell if they’re normal or an indicator of some fatal illness. Curious to hear if you have the same experience . . .

    Jo — That’s hysterical! Isn’t Locanda Rosati fantastic? And good point about beaten versus scrambled eggs. As a word, scramble means ‘to mix up’. But as a dish, you’re right, scrambled eggs implies cooked. Thanks for point it out–I’ll make that change!

  6. Jo Says:

    I’ve been checking in here as I am making your recipe tonight…..I had visions of their secret being partially cooked eggs LOL. And yes, Locanda Rosati is just perfect!

  7. Kalyn Says:

    I love frittatas too. Yours sounds like it would be very delicious, and I certainly have plenty of zucchini! (That was a joke.)

  8. lia Says:

    Jo, I’m glad you checked back in . . . I’d hate to have had you make a coddled egg frittata ;-).

    Kalyn, great to see you here. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Jo Says:

    LOL. Yep, that wouldn’t have worked half as well as your delicious recipe. It was a hit and I will definitely be having it again. Big thanks!!!

  10. Bobbie Says:

    Lia – I don’t see any spots (on the plant in your photo, or on my own).

    But I can tell you that we went away for a few days, and when we came back, one zucchini was almost the size of a baseball bat. Gaak! (Almost embarrassing, if ya know what I mean…)

    We sliced it, dipped the slices in beaten egg, and quick-fried them in olive oil — then blotted with a paper towel, and sprinkled with a bit of oregano. Yummers.

    Frittata next time…

  11. lia Says:

    Bobbie . . . I just found an overgrown zucchini myself. Funny how they can just appear, seemingly overnight. I’m going to try your method with it . . . sounds delicious!

  12. I savor, result in I found just what I was looking for. You’ve ended my four day lengthy hunt! God Bless you man. Have a great day. Bye

  13. […] of Swirling Notions in northern California, U.S. is making Zucchini Frittatas! Well, actually her DH is making the frittata, and babysitting!  With a custard-like texture […]

  14. […] of Swirling Notions in northern California, U.S. is making Zucchini Frittatas! Well, actually her DH is making the frittata, and babysitting!  With a custard-like texture […]

  15. Fran Says:

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing the page layout of your website?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.
    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with
    it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or two
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