Zucchini Frittata

Frontier living: Four Frittatas

Anand Fast & Easy 0 Comments

Eggs are amongst the most versatile ingredients for a cook with a limited pantry, equipment and time. They form the perfect medium to suspend and assortment of vegetables, flavours and textures in while still packing the satisfying fullness of a proper meal (even though they’re usually only considered breakfast-worthy).

So I spent four days of my frontier living experiment attempting the art of the simple frittata. A frittata usually involves a few simple ingredients mixed up with lightly beaten egg and cooked slowly in a skillet.

What is the difference between a frittata and an omelette?

This is an obvious question, because it looks like an omelette, and usually smells like an omelette, and yet, it isn’t exactly an omelette. The main difference is that in a frittata, the ingredients are mixed in with the egg, almost like a batter before being poured into a skillet and cooked slowly. In some cases (especially in the more layered frittatas), it might be finished in the oven to give it a crusty baked top. Since we’re talking frontier living with limited equipment here, the recipes listed below don’t require an oven.

An omelette usually sees the beaten egg as one layer, onto which other items can be added (like mushroom, cheese, bell peppers) and is then usually folded in half, turning the toppings into a filling. The egg remains as a homogenous base layer, separate from the topping/filling part.

The recipes listed here are simple, and not very layered (in construction, they’re subtly layered in flavour), but you can check this recipe out from my friend Jyotika’s blog (where much of Magic Marinade’s fame and hype was birthed, before Magic Marinade was but a twinkle in my eye).

There are two ways to do away with the need of an oven. Since these are single-layer frittatas, the first way it to flip them in the skillet. This does require a little fancy wrist action and a little flipping-confidence. I haven’t had a single mishap through the duration of this exercise, but I did flip over the kitchen sink, just in case.
The second way, a far sensible method, would be to just use a skillet with a lid. This would cook the top nicely, but you should still use a griddle to flip the frittata to let the top brown out nicely.

Zucchini Frittata (pictured on top)

Ingredients

1 green zucchini
3 eggs
2tbsp olive oil
1 small knob of butter
Salt & Pepper

Method
  1. Slice a 2” piece of the zucchini into fine slices and sauté in the skillet with olive oil and a little butter. Cook for about ten minutes till the zucchini is nice and tender. Season with salt and pepper.
  2. Beat the eggs and add the zucchini (once it has cooled a bit) and stir them around so they’re evenly covered in the eggs.
  3. Wash the skillet out before heating it up again, and adding olive oil and butter. Spread around the entire pan. A little up the sides even.
  4. Pour the egg-zucchini mix into the skillet and cook on a low flame for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Once the egg is nearly cooked through (the top might be slightly jiggly), flip or overturn the frittata till the other side is just a little browned. This should take only 2 minutes or so.
  6. Serve with toast. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.

Bell Pepper Frittata

Bell Pepper Frittata

Ingredients

¼ Red Bell Pepper diced
3 eggs
2tbsp olive oil
1 small knob of butter
Salt & Pepper

Method
  1. Sauté the bell peppers in a little olive oil and butter for about 15 minutes, till tender.
  2. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and stir in the bell peppers (once they have cooled a bit).
  3. Wash the skillet out before heating it up again, and adding olive oil and butter. Spread around the entire pan. A little up the sides even.
  4. Pour the egg-bell pepper mix into the skillet and cook on a low flame for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Once the egg is nearly cooked through (the top might be slightly jiggly), flip or overturn the frittata till the other side is just a little browned. This should take only 2 minutes or so.
  6. Pepper generously and serve with toast.

Note: I used a combination of red and yellow bell peppers for the one pictured above. The yellow bell pepper matches the golden yellow of the egg almost perfectly, rendering it near invisible, which is why I recommend using only red bell peppers for this. They’re also the most nutritious of the four (green, yellow, orange and red) varieties of bell pepper.

Bread Frittata

Bread Frittata

Ingredients

1 slice of bread
100ml milk (approximately)
⅓ cup grated Parmesan
1tbsp finely chopped parsley
3 eggs
2tbsp olive oil
1 small knob of butter
Salt & Pepper

Method
  1. Tear the bread into pieces and soak them in milk for ten minutes. Then squeeze the milk out and let them sit while you prep the eggs.
  2. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt and then stir in the bread with the Parmesan cheese.
  3. Add about ¾th of the parsley and mix in.
  4. Heat the skillet and add the olive oil and butter. Spread around the entire pan. A little up the sides even.
  5. Pour the egg-bread-parsley mix into the skillet (making sure to spread the chunks of bread around evenly) and cook on a low flame for about 10-15 minutes.
  6. Once the egg is nearly cooked through (the top might be slightly jiggly), flip or overturn the frittata till the other side is just a little browned. This should take only 2 minutes or so.
  7. Pepper generously and serve. I don’t bother with toast here because there’s a whole slice of bread in there.

Onion & Thyme Frittata

Onion and Thyme Frittata

Ingredients

½ onion, sliced fine
4 springs of thyme
3 eggs
2tbsp olive oil
1 small knob of butter
Salt & Pepper

Method
  1. Sauté the onions along with the thyme (leaves only, tear the leaves off and discard the stalks).
  2. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt.
  3. Once the onions are cooked translucent, spread them around the base of the skillet evenly.
  4. Pour the beaten egg into the skillet and cook on a low flame for about 10-15 minutes.
  5. Once the egg is nearly cooked through (the top might be slightly jiggly), flip or overturn the frittata till the other side is just a little browned. This should take only 2 minutes or so.
  6. Pepper generously and serve with toast. I usually serve this frittata upside-down so you can see the pattern of the browned onions. Drizzle some more thyme on top if you’d like it to taste more thyme-y.

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