Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Frittata with Zucchini and Basil

Cooking Italy Assignment
Frittata with Zucchini and Basil, p280

This week's assignment was to make any of Hazan's frittatas. An Italian frittata is the same as a Spanish tortilla, an eggy dish in the omelet family with the "filling" cooked right in with the eggs. It's a nice way to use up leftover bits of veg or meat or even pasta. Having a zucchini in the fridge wanting to be used as well as some past-its-prime basil in the garden, I chose the one with zucchini and basil.

You start by assembling, cooking if necessary, the filling. Stir this into some well-beaten eggs, along with some flavorings. Turn this into a cast iron skillet and cook slowly until the bottom is set, but the top is still a bit liquid.

Put the pan under the grill (or in a hot oven) and cook until the top begins to brown. Voila, there's your frittata.

I've made frittatas before, never with any great success. Usually they were tasty enough, but stuck to the pan and turned out like browned scrambled eggs. Recently I bought myself a cast iron skillet, which is exactly what you need for making a frittata (among other things)—the original non-stick surface. I'm in love. My frittata popped out of the pan just like it's supposed to.

Since the recipe calls for a 10" cast iron pan and my new one is only 8" in diameter, I cut the recipe back a bit (to about 2/3), using only 3 eggs. This is a nice amount for dinner for two.

This particular frittata (zucchini and basil) we both found, taste-wise, kind of so-so as frittatas go. But I've always liked the idea of a frittata and am very pleased to find that it works so well in my new pan. Now I'm going to go dig out some of the old recipes I'd given up on.


  1. I wonder if salting the zucchini, letting it drain, then rinsing it, patting it dry and frying it until it's browned before incorporating it into the frittata would have helped... Kind of like we did for the pasta dish that came out so good...? I know I've made more than one frittata with zucchini in my life, but it's been awhile. I'm sorry you weren't happier with it...it looks pretty enough! Still...now that you've been "good" and tried it "as written", now you can imagine how it would be "better" to you if you just added this or that...now I'm getting visions of soft cheese stirred in...feta or chevre, perhaps. Still...it looks marvelous! And I'm glad you've fallen in love with your new cast iron pan!

  2. Shame the courgette season is over in the U.K. I'd make this otherwise.

  3. Kaye, your frittata turned out great, even if you were over moon about the flavour. Having now made my first frittata, I'm excited about trying all sorts of different flavours. I'm definitely going to try this one, and maybe I'll try adding in some chorizo or interesting cheese to boost the flavour a bit. Pleased your cast-iron pan worked so well for you - I don't have one of those, but found a regular, cheap non-stick pan worked really well.

    Sue :-)