Meatless Monday: Zucchini Send-Off (And a Snowy Caveat)
When I got word that snow was making a ridiculously early appearance in several parts of the country, I felt compelled to change the lede paragraph of today’s little ditty. After all, a recipe celebrating late-season zucchini is probably the last thing still-in-shock snow bunnies want to read.
For those of you donning your woolies, I apologize in advance, but have no fear, I’ve got a winter-worthy Plan B: Swap in potatoes.
Weather aside, the gist of today’s recipe is that you’re making a thin egg pie, also known as a fritatta in Italy and a tortilla Espanola in Spain. Always one to finely chop the veg for this dish, I was intrigued by the argument for thin slices, a notion served up by my friend Lia Huber, a nutrition and wellness writer in northern California. Done this way (using a mandoline for consistent thickness), the onions truly melt and the zucchini are front and center, getting a glorious end-of-season send-off.
About those potatoes: Use something waxy, along the lines of Yellow finns or Yukon golds, medium size, which will yield a creamy texture. They may need a little more time in the skillet, but now you can have some fun with heartier herbs, including sage, rosemary or thyme.
Start to finish, you’ll need about 40 minutes, and with a quickie green salad (and a hunk of crusty bread), you’ve got a first-class supper. For a moment, let go of that snow shovel and grab a whisk instead.
Adapted from Lia Huber at Nourish Network
1 large zucchini (approximately 2 cups)
1 large sweet onion (approximately 2 cups), cut into half
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/4 cup minced parsley (KOD note: With no leafy herb on hand, I substituted a few teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves. Feel free to experiment.)
salt and pepper
6 large eggs, beaten
Optional add-on (but really nice!): ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
Slice zucchini (or potato) and onion very thinly – the zucchini into circles and the onions into crescents.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sauté vegetables for 10 minutes, until tender and just softening but not yet brown. Stir in herbs, season with salt and pepper and set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
When slightly cooled, transfer vegetables to a large bowl, add the eggs and mix thoroughly. Re-season with salt and pepper.
Preheat oven to broil with rack in top third of the oven.
Heat a large ovenproof sauté pan (if using the same one you used to saute the veggies, wipe it out thoroughly) over high heat. When the pan is hot, add the remaining olive oil.
Swirl the oil around the pan, then pour in the egg mixture, tilting the pan to spread it evenly. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes, running a spatula around the edges and shaking occasionally, until the center of the frittata is just about set.
If using cheese, add now, sprinkling evenly over the top.
Transfer pan to the oven (if your handle is rubber, cover it with aluminum foil before doing so) and broil for 3-4 minutes, until the top of the frittata is evenly browned.
Invert the frittata onto a large serving plate and serve warm or at room temperature. (KOD: If frittata does not want to budge, don’t force it – and don’t worry. Cut into slices straight from skillet.)
Makes 4 to 6 entree-sized servings.