Summer, Frittata

July 19, 2009


Appetizers, Summer, TASTE Archives

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There' s something about summer days: long, lazy and ripe. Today I feel like a juicy peach, though not of the courtesan variety. I' m just that happy, rosy and full. Let me tell you why:

I woke up to no dog begging for breakfast. That is to say, I woke up when my body wanted to—a very tender, rested 8:30 am. Mom has kindly taken charge of my little canine lass in preparation (gasp) of being a grandmother. The prospect is far along a very distant horizon, let me assure you, but she seems to be looking forward to it. So she has adopted Lupe as her own for the time being, making mornings just a little bit later for me.


Shortly thereafter I made peace with a rather heaping bowl of granola and some just-picked blueberries (we hauled away six pounds for a mere $5! yesterday) with fresh—thank goodness—raw milk. Sounds treacherous at first, I understand, but it' s delicious. I hope never to have to go back to the conventional variety.

The day progressed into a series of activities: yoga class, a walk in the forest with Mom and the pup, lunch by the water, and eventually a trip into town for some new books. I' m particularly thrilled about “American Earth: Environmental Writing Since Thoreau,”though its 1,000 + pages and spiffy cover did burn a hole in my wallet. It promises to be well worth the price, however, chock-full of essays by people I wish were my best friends—or at least my hiking companions.


A mile-long swim in the afternoon was punctuated by reading the first few chapters of my new tome. But nothing compared to the best part of it all: an unexpected encounter with an extraordinary frittata. Those who know me are aware that I' m prone to egregious exaggeration, but this, friends, is no such instance. I am serious here, and the proof is a mere 35 minutes away. I didn’t expect baked eggs to taste this good. But really, I am glowing still.

Before I sat down to limn the account, I wondered what would get you to actually get up and make this thing. I contemplated a dare… thought of threatening (all for your own good, of course)… but determined that making a seemingly hyperbolic claim all while wrapping the meal up in the irresistibility of a glorious summer day might be the most effective tactic. It is, after all, the most authentic account of how I experienced Sunday, July 19, 2009.


Make this, I implore you, before summer wanes and fresh zucchini, tomatoes, scallions and parsley are impossible to come by. I' m sure there are many extraordinary frittatas to be had in the colder months—potatoes, prosciuto and caramelized onions come to mind as possible add-ins—but this particular summertime combination is worth every day it took to grow these ingredients, and every moment it takes for you to turn them into a soft-on-the-inside, crispy-on-the-outside supper, which, I think, is the mark of so many well-wrought meals.


Mom and I each had thirds. THIRDS. That' s because each piece is light as air and absolutely worthy of such indulgence—grated zucchini adds an invisible yet wholesome sweetness, as do roast cherry tomatoes embedded in each bite. Meanwhile, grated Manchego cheese lends richness, and sliced herbs perk things up a bit.

I served this with roasted rosemary potatoes and a green salad. We both lamented the absence of a baguette, but that would have required a trip to the store… and there' s something really satisfying about making a meal with what you' ve already got. Just the kind of thing you want to eat on a Sunday evening, after a quintessential summer day, gazing out at a fluorescent sky. That is, until the mosquitoes drive you back into the house.


Summer Frittata

Serves 3-4

6 eggs
2 tbsp heavy cream or full-fat milk
1 ½ c grated zucchini (about 2 large)
1 tbsp kosher salt
6 small tomatoes, quartered (or 10 cherry tomatoes, halved)
¼ c chopped scallions (whites and all)
¼ c chopped parsley
¾ c grated Manchego
2 tbsp butter
s & p to taste


Preheat oven to 400.

Mix salt and zucchini in a colander and let sit for 15 minutes before draining liquid.

In a large bowl, beat eggs with cream or milk. Add zucchini and mix to incorporate.

Add remaining ingredients, except butter, mixing gently.

Heat butter in a heavy-bottomed, well-curved skillet.

When butter is melted, pour in egg mixture. Transfer skillet to oven and cook for 18-20 minutes. You' ll know it' s done when the center looks firm.

I served mine directly from the skillet, as you can see.

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