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I used some of the bountiful tomatoes yesterday to make a frittata for my knitting buddies who were here for lunch. I also was able to use a good handful of fresh herbs from my garden to add that extra “oomph” to the dish. Easy, easy, easy. 

 

I found the recipe in the August, 2008, Good Housekeeping and heartily recommend it for any meal, morning, noon, or night. I warmed up the leftovers today for lunch and it was nearly as good as it was yesterday. Give it a try for a meatless meal sometime.

 

CRUSTLESS TOMATO-RICOTTA PIE

Serves 6, maybe only 4 really hungry folks

1 container  (15 oz.) ricotta cheese (I used part-skim)

4 large eggs

1/4 c. grated Pecorino-Romano cheese

Salt and Pepper

1/4 c. milk

1 T. cornstarch

1/2 c. loosely packed fresh basil leaves, chopped

1/2 c. loosely packed fresh mint leaves, chopped

1 lb. ripe tomatoes (3 medium), thinly sliced*

1. Preheat oven to 375. In large bowl, whisk ricotta, eggs, Romano, 1/2 t. salt and 1.8 t. pepper until blended.

2. In a measuring cup, stir milk and cornstarch until smooth; whisk into cheese mixture. Stir in basil and mint.

3. Pour into a nonstick 10-inch skillet with oven-safe handle. Arrange tomatoes on top, overlapping slices if necessary. Bake pie 35-40 minutes or until lightly browned and set around edge and center is puffed. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.


*I used 1 large tomato and it was plenty.

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zucchini.jpg
One of the blessings of summer, drought be damned, is an abundance, even an over-abundance of zucchini. I never grow it in my garden. No need. Everybody else grows it and practically pleads for others to take it off their hands. I have seen stacks of zucchini overflowing baskets at the farmers’ markets and zucchini bread waiting to be purchased and then slathered with butter or cream cheese.

I always buy zucchini. We like to saute it with onion, garlic, red bell peppers, add a little salt and pepper, and sprinkled the finished product with Parmesan cheese. Sometimes we include it in a tossed green salad where it’s quartered lengthwise, and sliced thinly. It adds a slight crunch and subtle taste. If I’m making vegetable lasagne, I occasionally add sliced zucchini to the vegetable layers with grated carrots, spinach, and mushrooms.

I found a zucchini-tomato frittata recipe the other day which appealed to me. With fresh zucchini from the market the day before, and plenty of fresh tomatoes, I had everything for a great Sunday brunch, especially with sausage links ready to cook. The recipe is from a promotional booklet (Holiday Meals) from Everyday Food, from the Kitchesn of Martha Stewart Living. </em)

ZUCCHINI AND TOMATO FRITTATA
Ingredients:
1 T. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
3 medium zucchini (1 1/2 pounds), cut into 1/4″ thick rounds
1 T. fresh thyme leaves (or 1 t. dried)
8 large eggs
1/4 c. milk
3/4 c. shredded white cheddar cheese
2-3 medium tomatoes (l pound), cored and thinly sliced
salt
black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add the onion, zucchini and thyme. Cover, cook, stirring often, until vegetables are tender but not browned, 7 – 8 minutes. Uncover, cook until liquid has evaporated. Generously season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.

2. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and then beat in the milk. Add the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Pour over the vegetables in the skillet, gently lifting them to let egg mixture coat the bottom of the pan. Arrange the tomatoes on top, overlapping slightly, around the outer edge.

3. Cook over medium-low heat until sides are set but the top is slightly runny, 15 – 20 minutes. Transfer to oven; cook until the center is firm and tomatoes are slightly browned, 10 – 15 minutes. To serve, gently loosen frittata with a heatproof spatula.

(Note: I used the cheddar that I had on hand, regular yellow, not white. I also sprinkled the top of the tomatoes with black pepper.)

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After a busy weekend, a day trip on Saturday and errands on Sunday, a simple supper for Sunday night seemed just right. In the afternoon, on the way home from the grocery, I read a newsletter from Dorothy Lane Market (DLM) outlining upcoming cooking classes. One is to feature Italian recipes. The instructor, Loretta Paganini, is a professional chef, having studied at a number of cooking schools, including Le Cordon bleu in Paris. She also founded and directs the Paganini School of Cooking. Among her other culinary activities, she has found time to author a cookbook and articles for magazines and newpapsers. She furnished a recipe in the DLM newsletter for a frittata with herbs. That sounded like it would be perfect for dinner. I had a loaf of no-knead bread ready to bake, some cherry tomatoes, and lots of herbs in the garden. Houston, we have a plan.

The recipe is straightforward, with some chopping of vegetables, but they are just rough chopped, nothing fancy or too tiny. It calls for a dozen eggs, which is a lot for supper for the two of us, but I know I can warm up the leftovers for breakfast or lunch. We should have about half of it leftover. A dozen eggs is a lot to whisk up. It would have been easier to use the mixer, but I didn’t want to dig it out of storage. I rarely use it.

I sauteed the tomatoes in olive oil with some sliced garlic chips, salt and pepper – simple and good. With thick slices of fresh bread, lightly buttered, and our frittata, we were in hog heaven.

Here is the recipe, thanks to Dorothy Lane Market and Loretta Paganini.

Frittata di Erbette

2-4 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
2 clove garic, peeled and minced
2 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped
2 sweet red peppers, coarsely chopped
12 large organic eggs*
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese*
1 T. organic whole milk*
1/2 t. fresh thyme
1 t. fresh basil chiffonade
1 t. minced fresh Italian parsley
1 t. sea salt
1 t. freshly ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the oil in a heavy 10-12 inch ovenproof nonstick skillet. Add the onion, garlic, zucchini, and peppers. Cook until the onion becomes golden in color over medium heat.

In a bowl, whisk the eggs with half the cheese (1/4 cup) and the milk, herbs, salt and pepper.

Add the egg mixture to the sauteed vegetables and cook over low heat until the bottom is set and very tiny bubbles form on the top, about 5-7 minutes. Remove the skillet from the cooktop.

Place the skillet in the oven to finish baking, about 10 minutes or until the top is set. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and allow to cool before serving. Makes 6-8 servings.

*I used regular large eggs, not organic, I used some already-grated parmesan, and I used 2% milk, not organic. We let the eggs sit for about 10 minutes because we couldn’t wait any longer to try it. It can be served at room temperature or warm.

Be careful handling the full skillet when moving it to the oven. The top of the eggs will still be very liquid and the skillet heavy.

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