Recipe: Zucchini-Potato Frittata

Cookbook Recipe

Last week we highlighted Andrea Chesman's fabulous book Serving Up the Harvest, a down-to-earth and accessible guide to vegetables and recipes for each season. We love her style of cooking and we're excited to give you a recipe straight from her pages. This was just about the most delicious thing we've eaten this week, so it seemed like a safe pick!

Read on for the recipe, our thoughts, and step-by-step photos of this frittata.

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A frittata is very similar to an omelet, except that it's not folded and it's baked in the oven. This particular frittata, however, is also a riff on the Spanish tortilla - a baked egg dish layered with potatoes. It's fantastic comfort food - creamy, cheesy, tender from the potatoes. It's also very nourishing and good for leftovers.

This recipe also called for ham or Canadian bacon (we used regular bacon that needed to be used up), zucchini or summer squash (you know, that stuff spilling out of gardens and into car seats all over the country right now), Cheddar cheese, and a little salt and pepper. Simple! And yet the dish comes together in a way that suggests more than the sum of its parts. Each part is handled wisely and cooked separately before being folded together, cooked and baked.

Sounds like a lot of work, eh? It's not difficult and the results are absolutely stellar. We had this for dinner one night and breakfast the next morning.

Here it is - read on for our comments below.

Zucchini-Potato Frittata

serves 4-6 Recipe reprinted from Andrea Chesman's Serving Up the Harvest with permission from Storey Publishing

1 medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, sliced
Salt
4-5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or more as needed
1 1/2 pounds waxy potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced
1/4 pound smoked Canadian bacon or ham, diced
6 eggs
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Cheddar

1. Combine the zucchini and 1 teaspoon salt in a colander and toss well. Set aside to drain for 30 minutes.

2. Heat 3 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat in a large, well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or ovenproof nonstick skillet. Add the potatoes and onion, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook, flipping and stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are soft, about 20 minutes. Increase the heat to medium-high and continue cooking, tossing occasionally, until the potatoes are are brown, about 5 minutes. Remove the potatoes with a slotted spoon but keep the skillet on the burner.

3. Transfer the zucchini to a clean kitchen towel and pat dry. Add the zucchini and Canadian bacon to the skillet and sauté over medium-high heat, until the zucchini is just tender, about 4 minutes. Remove the zucchini and Canadian bacon with a slotted spoon. Keep the skillet over the heat.

4. Beat the eggs and pepper to taste in a medium bowl until well blended. Fold in the potatoes, zucchini and Canadian bacon, and cheese.

5. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the remaining oil to the skillet as needed to lightly coat the bottom. Pour in the egg mixture, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook without stirring until the bottom is set, about 10 minutes.

6. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake until the top is set, 5 to 15 minutes, checking every 5 minutes.

7. Place a serving plate on top of the skillet and carefull invert. The frittata should fall out of the pan. Cut into wedges and serve.

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• We found the initial step of salting the zucchini to be interesting. Was this to remove bitterness? This is the only salt added in the recipe and we were afraid it would be bland, but apparently the salted zucchini juice oozed out into everything else and made it taste great. We also didn't notice the watery texture we've experienced in other veggie quiches.

• Cooking the bacon and zucchini together really enhanced the flavor of both.

• Cooking the potatoes and onions did take longer than we expected - about 30 minutes. We may have just cut the potato slices too thick.

All in all, this was a great recipe - delicious, easy, and foolproof. We highly recommend it - along with the book.

• Buy Serving Up the Harvest for $11.53 at Amazon.com

(Images: Faith Durand)

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