I’ve had a busy week catching up with friends and getting together always gives me the opportunity to get in the kitchen and create something to feed them! Tonight a few close friends that I used to work with are coming by for drinks and something to munch on and I’ve decided that’s it time to serve some summer appetizers.
I’m only making a couple of things and I wanted them to be easy, prepared ahead and not too heavy. I’ve settled on bruschetta with tomatoes from the farm down the hill from our house and a zucchini frittata. Sliced into small wedges and served with a glass of wine, a frittata is no longer just something to eat for breakfast.
You probably don’t need a recipe for a frittata, but I love this one from Cucina Fresca by Evan Kleiman and Viana La Place. Everything in this book is meant to be eaten at room temperature, so its recipes are perfect for those hot summer days and for entertaining when you want to be out of the kitchen by the time that your guests arrive.
Zucchini and Basil Frittata
1 pound small, firm zucchini
4 tablespoons olive oil
3 garlic cloves,peeled and minced
1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil leaves
Freshly ground pepper to taste
I like to start the frittata on top of the stove and finish it off in the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Trim the ends off the zucchini. Grate on the largest hole of a 4- sided grater or do in food processor with grating blade. Place in a colander, salt and let drain for 30 minutes. Press out the liquid. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 10″ non-stick, oven-proof skillet (I’ve made it in a skillet that wasn’t non-stick and it works, however, non-stick is definitely easier). Saute the garlic briefly. Add the zucchini and saute 5 to 6 minutes over high heat until the excess moisture evaporates and the zucchini turns bright green. Let cool.
Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl. Add the cheese, basil, cooked zucchini, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Wipe skillet clean and add remaining olive oil to it and swirl to coat all sides. Add the egg-zucchini mixture. Lower the heat. Cook slowly, stirring frequently until the eggs have formed small curds and the frittata is firm, except for the top. Place the pan in the pre-heated oven until the frittata browns slightly. Let cool in the pan for 1-2 minutes. Run a spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the frittata. Place a plate over the top of the pan and invert frittata onto it. Serve at room temperature, cut into wedges. This is also delicious served with a little fresh tomato sauce spooned over it.