|Three Cheese Zucchini Frittata can use those monster zucchinis that suddenly appear in the fall garden.|
I mentioned last week how I love the idea of Sneak Some Zucchini on to Your Neighbor's Porch Day, but I am puzzled as to why the holiday comes so early in the gardening season. In Utah, zucchini grows at least until the end of September, and those last few weeks of the summer are when you're most likely to wander out to the garden and find a giant zucchini staring you in the face. For a few weeks now I've been experimenting with the monster zucchini a good friend has been giving me, and this Three Cheese Zucchini Frittata was one of the happy results. Besides using Mozzarella, Feta, and Parmesan cheese, I have a couple of other tricks here that made this one of the best tasting zucchini + egg dishes I've ever had.
A frittata is a type of Italian omelet that's not turned or folded but is browned under the broiler to finish the cooking. It's the type of dish you can happily enjoy for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, and the ingredient combinations are endless. But I especially love it when I can make a meatless frittata with something like a giant zucchini that might have been thrown away. I ate this for breakfast six days in a row (with a little low-fat sour cream on top) and thoroughly enjoyed it. Of course this is my Meatless Monday recipe for this week, and if you don't have monster zucchini showing up in the garden, you can certainly make this with small pieces of zucchini from the store; enjoy!
(If you want more meatless recipes, you might might want to follow my Meatless Monday Pinterest Board, which has ideas from Kalyn's Kitchen and some of my favorite food blogs, and I also share a new recipe each week for Meatless Monday at BlogHer.)
I used half of a giant zucchini (about 3 inches across) for this recipe. Start by cutting the zucchini in fourths and scraping out the pithy center with the seeds, leaving about 1/2 inch of flesh on the skin.
You want to cook the cubes of zucchini over high heat with plenty of seasonings before you add the eggs. I used a teaspoon each of Italian Herb Blend and Spike Seasoning to flavor the zucchini, plus a little salt and fresh-ground black pepper.
When the zucchini is nicely browned, turn the heat to low (or turn off the pan for a couple of minutes if you're using a thick or cast-iron pan that retains the heat.) Sprinkle the cheeses over the zucchini and let it start to melt.
Then pour in the eggs (and turn the heat to low if you had turned it off. Turn on your broiler to preheat about now.
Cover the frittata and let it cook on low about 15 minutes. (I made this frittata in my new Calphalon 10 inch Frittata Pan from Williams Sonoma, which has a second pan that acts as a lid when you're making a frittata. This pan was definitely an investment, but it has a wonderful non-stick surface, and both parts can be used independently. I love the shallow "lid" part of the pan for cooking fried eggs.)
When the frittata has puffed up like this (but the top is still slightly wet-looking), it's time to finish it under the broiler.
(Makes 6 servings; recipe created by Kalyn as a delicious way to use a monster zucchini.)
half of a giant zucchini, about 3 inches across (or use several smaller zucchinis if you don't have a big one)
1 T olive oil
1 tsp. Italian Herb Blend
1 tsp. Spike Seasoning
8 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup grated low-fat Mozzarella
1/2 cup crumbled Feta cheese
2 T freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
reduced-fat sour cream for serving, optional but good
Cut the large piece of zucchini into fourths lengthwise, and use a sharp spoon to scrape out the pithy center part and seeds, leaving about 1/2 inch of flesh on the skin. Then cut each piece into large strips just over 1/2 inch wide and chop the strips into pieces just over 1/2 inch square. (You need about 2 cups of chopped zucchini pieces. If you don't have a giant zucchini, just chop up enough smaller zucchini to make 2 cups.)
Heat the oil in a heavy non-stick frittata pan or frying pan that can go under the broiler. (If you're not sure about eggs sticking to the pan, it wouldn't hurt to spray with some non-stick cooking spray before you add the oil.) Add the zucchini pieces, season with the Italian Herb Blend, Spike Seasoning, salt, and pepper, and cook over high heat, turning often, until the zucchini is nicely browned on all sides, about 9 minutes. Beat the eggs and measure out the three types of cheese while the zucchini cooks.
Reduce heat to low (or turn the heat off for a couple of minutes if you have a thick cast-iron pan that retains the heat), sprinkle the cheeses over the zucchini and let it start to melt for a minute or two. (Turn your broiler on at this point and let it heat while the frittata cooks.) Then add the beaten eggs, and stir gently with a rubber scraper (I also scraped the side of the pan where a thin layer of egg cooked quickly.) Cover the pan, and cook on low until the frittata is barely firm but still still slightly wet- looking, about 15 minutes.
Put the pan about 6 inches away from the broiler and broil the frittata until the top is nicely browned. This only takes about 2-3 minutes with most broilers, so watch it carefully. Serve hot, with reduced fat sour cream if desired.
This will keep at least a week in the fridge and can be reheated for a minute or two in the microwave.
South Beach Suggestions:
Every ingredient here is a good choice for a low-glycemic diet, and as long as you don't get carried away with the cheese, this would make a good breakfast, lunch, or dinner for any phase of the South Beach Diet.
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.
More Delicious Meatless Ideas with Zucchini Plus Eggs:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Zucchini Bake with Feta and Thyme ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Zucchini, Tomato, and Egg Tart ~ Taste and Tell
Zucchini and Green Chile Breakfast Casserole ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
Zucchini Pie ~ The Perfect Pantry
Monster Zucchini and Basil Strata ~ Kalyn's Kitchen
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)
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