Monday, July 18, 2011

Summer Squash Frittata

I had a lot of squash, and I had a lot of eggs.  So I used the oven.  And it was worth it.

I may be stretching the word frittata here, but "egg casserole" sounds fairly disgusting.  Like something you'd see on The Gallery of Regrettable Food

The thing with me and "frittata" is that I don't have a skillet that goes into the oven.  Basic frittata is eggs with food in it, on the stove til set on the bottom, then into the oven.  When I say, "I made frittata," I either mean, "I made a big omelete," or what you see here.  Eggs, veg, cheese, oven. 

We started with a lot of squash.  The photo doesn't do it justice, these were two big zucchinis - one was like a giant eggplant.  And a little yellow squash.   Remove the heads and tails. 

And then, *gulp*, I let Sous Chef Brian use the mandoline.  Yeah, I said it, "let."  Here's the thing - Sous Chef Brian is good at slicing things, and he never cuts off a finger in the process.  But what if he did?  I'd be passed out on the floor hoping he had enough fingers left to dial 911, because I'd be worthless.   So I tend to be the one using the mandoline, because he has the decency to stay conscious if I hurt myself.   Marriage is complicated.  Rules need to be established. 

So he sliced the squashes into thin rounds.  You don't need a mandoline to do this, but it helps. 

We salted the squash and put it into a colander to let the moisture come out.   This is important.  At every step, you want to remove the moisture from whatever you're adding in.  Blot it.  Run it though the salad spinner.  Dry your veg. 

Meanwhile, I got busy with the cherry tomatoes.

Seed them, drain them, drain them some more.  Slice them.  Blot them.  

And some cippolini onions.  

Diced.  Blotted.

And some garlic.  Smashed with the side of a knife and skinned, then rough chopped. 

We sauteed all of the veg in like a tablespoon of olive oil.  This was a lot of squash, so it didn't form a nice even layer in the pan, we just moved it around a lot.   Cook just until the onions are on the verge of translucent, and the thinly sliced squash is folding and bending on its own.  This pulls some more of the water out.  

Guess what the next step is?  Drain your veg.  Seriously.  Pat them dry too. 

Got some dry veg?  Great, let's talk about eggs.  

I've acknowledged before that I'm yolk-averse.  It's not that I don't appreciate the richness of egg yolk, it's just really not my thing.  Only half of it is nutrition-related, the other half is a flavor/texture thing.  Besides, the nutrition thing is still up in the air, like most things.   So for a frittata like this, this much veg, I want to use about 2 cups of liquid, and most of that is egg.  White.  Egg white.  We used 8 eggs - 8 whites and 3 yolks.  

Don't worry about losing richness.  Sous Chef Brian grated a third of a cup of parmesan into those eggs.

And 3/4 of a cup of yogurt.   Yeah, yogurt.   And like everything else in this recipe, it was drained.  

yeah, you try taking a pretty picture of yogurt wrapped in a paper towel. 
And basil.  Tis the season for basil.  Everyone has those full, shiny plants covered in sweet leaves just sitting on their windowsill or in their back yard.  Everyone but me.  Me, I kill plants.  As though it's my job.  So I've had three basil plants this summer.  One I let die because it tasted bad.  The other two, I have no excuse for.  So I'm back to frozen basil, which is fine in this application, but totally inappropriate for a caprese sandwich.   

Look at my basil options:

Frozen wins.  So the eggs, parm, basil and yogurt were blended together.  With a bit of black pepper.  Red pepper would be good too.  I used my immersion blender; you could use a regular blender, or you could whisk by hand, but if you do it by hand, go crazy with it.  More than for an omelete.  Fluffy really helps, so get some air in there. 

And then it's time to put it together, lasagna style.  Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a baking dish with olive oil.

Layer of squash. 

Layer of egg mixture. 

More squash (and onion, tomato and garlic).

More egg mixture.  You get the point.  Into the oven at 375 for 40 minutes.  

Check to make sure it's fully set.  Use a toothpick like it's a cake.  Egg whites, for whatever reason, seem sort of glossy and misleading during cooking.  

And that's it.  Let cool for 5 minutes and serve.  

Creamy, fluffy, and as Sous Chef Brian describes it, "vegtastic." This is a light meal.  We divided it into six slices and then two hours later, we were looking for ice cream.  Have it with a big salad or a handful of nuts or something.  


In the morning, we had it with bacon.  It had set better overnight and was even creamier.  And you know, bacon. 

print recipe

Summer Squash Frittata
Lots of squash and fluffy egg whites make a creamy dish that's great at any time of day
  • 8 Egg Whites
  • 3 Egg Yolks
  • 4 cups Summer Squash, Sliced
  • 1/2 cup Tomatoes, Sliced and Drained
  • 1/2 cup Onions, Diced
  • 4 cloves Garlic, Chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Basil, Minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/3 cup Parmesan, Shredded
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper
  • 3/4 cup Plain Yogurt, Drained
Preheat oven to 375. Salt and drain squash. Pat dry. Pat tomatoes and onions dry. Saute vegetables in olive oil until just flexible, remove to colander and drain. Pat dry. Whisk together (or blend) eggs, yogurt, basil, salt and pepper.Grease baking dish with olive oil.Layer squash in the bottom of a baking dish. Pour on egg mixture to just cover. Layer on more squash, tomatoes, onions and garlic, cover with egg mixture. Repeat until it's all in the pan.Bake at 375 35-45 minutes, checking with a toothpick to be sure eggs are set. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Makes excellent leftovers.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6 servings

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