Zucchini Blossom Frittata
- 20 zucchini blossoms, stems removed (about 3 ounces)
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon piment d'Espelette or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 7 large eggs, whisked to blend
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
Gently rinse and dry zucchini blossoms. Preheat broiler.
Heat oil in 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion; reduce heat to medium and sauté until soft, about 4 minutes. Add blossoms and sauté just until wilted, turning often, about 1 minute. Sprinkle with salt and piment d'Espelette.
Spread blossoms in skillet in single layer; increase heat to medium-high. Add eggs and cook until beginning to set around edges, lifting frittata with heatproof rubber spatula and allowing eggs to flow underneath. Continue cooking until eggs are softly set, about 5 minutes. Transfer skillet to broiler; broil until top of frittata is set, 1 minute. Slide frittata onto platter. Sprinkle with parsley.
- 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 cup diced zucchini, (1 small)
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 1/2 cup grape tomatoes, or cherry tomatoes, halved
- ¼ cup slivered fresh mint
- ¼ cup slivered fresh basil
- ¼ teaspoon salt, divided
- 5 large eggs
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese, (2 ounces)
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini and onion cook, stirring often, for 1 minute. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is tender, but not mushy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, mint, basil, 1/8 teaspoon salt and a grinding of pepper increase heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the moisture has evaporated, 30 to 60 seconds.
Whisk eggs, the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt and a grinding of pepper in a large bowl until blended. Add the zucchini mixture and cheese stir to combine.
Wipe out the pan and brush it with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil place over medium-low heat. Add the frittata mixture and cook, without stirring, until the bottom is light golden, 2 to 4 minutes. As it cooks, lift the edges and tilt the pan so uncooked egg will flow to the edges.
Place the pan under the broiler and broil until the frittata is set and the top is golden, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Loosen the edges and slide onto a plate. Cut into wedges and serve.
- 1 cup water
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 3 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 small onion, diced
- 6 fresh chopped mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 5 eggs
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a large skillet or sauce pan, combine water, olive oil, salt, green pepper, zucchini and garlic cloves. Simmer until zucchini is tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Drain off water and discard garlic. Stir in onion, mushrooms and butter. Cook until onion is transparent. Add eggs and stir season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until eggs are firm.
Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over eggs. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Place under broiler for 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting into wedges and serving.
What Do I Do with Zucchini Blossoms?
On the end of every growing zucchini or summer squash you will find a vibrant yellow-orange flower — the blossom — which is a vegetable in its own right. Zucchini blossoms are fragile and delicately flavored, a little sweeter and more ephemeral than the flavor of the squash itself. The blooms are naturally soft, but pick those that look fresh, not droopy, with mostly closed buds.
They are most often served sauteed or battered and fried, and are frequently stuffed first, often with some sort of creamy cheese filling. They can also be baked, even steamed, or served raw, often in salads or as a garnish for pastas, risottos, soups or other cooked dishes. They can also be stuffed and enjoyed raw, which means you get to taste the subtle flavor without distraction.
Zucchini blossoms should be kept in the fridge, and really don't last more than a day or two. If you find them at a farmers market, grab them, and cook them right away. Don’t wash them (that may not feel quite right, but they are so delicate that the minute you rinse them they will wilt). You do, however, want to remove the pistil or the stamens from the center (there are both male and female flowers that grow on the vegetable, both edible, but there is different plant anatomy inside). Some recipes suggest removing the stems, but that makes the blossoms even more fragile to handle, plus the stem is both edible and delicious. Zucchini blossoms contain vitamins A and C, and some iron and calcium, but they aren't a major source of any nutrients, given their light critical mass.
Squash and Squash Blossom Frittata
Frittatas are the ultimate easy meal. They look impressive, require minimal effort and can be made with fresh seasonal produce, pantry staples or the leftovers in your fridge. Susan Spungen&rsquos squash and squash blossom frittata (from her gorgeous new cookbook, Open Kitchen) is just one example.
&ldquoThe squash blossoms really embellish this easy-to-make frittata in the most beautiful way,&rdquo she writes, &ldquobut it still is delicious without them. In fact, squash blossoms, truth be told, don&rsquot add all that much in terms of flavor, but they sure add a &lsquowow&rsquo factor to anything they adorn.&rdquo
According to Spungen, this beauty comes together quickly, making it an excellent last-minute dinner.
Adapted from Open Kitchen by Susan Spungen, published by Avery, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House, LLC. Copyright © 2019 by Susan Spungen.
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 small zucchini or 2 large zucchini (about 12 ounces total), cut into ¼-inch coins
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bunch scallions (about 7 thin), white and green parts, trimmed and sliced
12 fresh basil leaves, slivered
½ ounce (½ fluffy cup) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
2 large squash blossoms, cleaned, petals separated (optional)
½ cup cherry tomatoes or Sungold tomatoes
1 tablespoon melted unsalted butter
1. Preheat the broiler. Heat a medium (10-inch) nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and zucchini, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, tossing, until golden and crisp-tender, about 6 minutes. Add the scallions and reduce the heat to medium-low.
2. Beat the eggs well with the cream, ½ teaspoon salt and a few cracks of pepper. Stir in the basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Add the eggs to the pan, and use a spatula to pull the edges to the center as they cook until almost set, 5 to 7 minutes. Dollop the ricotta cheese all over the top, and arrange the squash blossom petals, green sides up, if using, and tomatoes. Brush the squash blossoms with the butter, then place under the broiler until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Crack pepper over the top and serve warm or at room temperature.
Note: If the frittata seems like it might be stuck to the pan, cover the pan with a lid and let it sit for a few minutes off the heat. The steam will help it release from the pan.
Zucchini Blossom Frittata Makes the Most of Farmers' Market Jackpot
Zucchini flowers, or squash blossoms (for culinary purposes these are interchangeable), are one of those off-the-supermarket-beaten-path ingredients you tend to find only at farmers’ markets or fancy restaurants. (Or Italy, though that doesn’t really help most of us all that much.)
This elusiveness means that if you do come into a supply – either because you’ve lucked into some at the market, or by growing them yourself – it may not be entirely clear just what to do with the darn things.
On menus, zucchini blossoms most often show up stuffed with cheese and deep-fried. Now, far be it from us to decry such a fantastic use of nature’s bounty, but this isn’t necessarily the best option for the home cook. Deep frying requires a lot of oil and, if you’re only doing a small batch, is rather wasteful. Not to mention that deep frying involves, well, a pot of boiling-hot fat, which is the sort of thing that can make a person hesitant about venturing into the kitchen.
Fortunately, there are other lovely things to do with the zucchini blossom. One in particular, retains the virtue of using lots of cheese, and also comes with the bonus of working for breakfast, lunch, or supper – the frittata. Frittatas are easier to make than omelettes, can be happily eaten hot out of the pan or at room temperature, and are deeply forgiving of substitutions.
This recipe was born of the love of zucchini blossoms, yes, but also a need to make good use of sundry bits and pieces lurking in corners of the fridge. We encourage you to take the same freewheeling approach: swap out chives for onions, sage for parsley, and leave out the garlic altogether, if that’s what your heart and pantry encourage.
Zucchini Blossom Frittata
(The recipe as given is for one person – multiply by as many as you want to serve, increasing your pan size to match.)
- small glug of olive oil
- 1 small clove of garlic, chopped
- a couple of green onions, sliced
- 3-4 zucchini blossoms, rinsed thoroughly
- a generous handful of parsley, chopped
- 2 eggs
- 30 mL (2 tbsp) milk, cream, leben, or plain yogurt
- salt and pepper
- small bit of soft cheese, like goat or feta
1. Put a small, oven-proof frying pan over medium heat, and preheat the broiler. While the skillet is warming, prepare the zucchini blossoms: remove the stamens or pistils from the centre using a paring knife or your fingernail, and slice each one in half crosswise.
Cut the bottoms into quarters, and leave the petals whole.
2. Slick the bottom of the pan with a bit of olive oil, and then toss in garlic and green onions sauté for one minute. Add in the chopped bottoms of the blossoms, and sauté one minute more. Scatter zucchini blossom petals and chopped parsley in the pan.
3. Crack the eggs into a bowl and gently break them up with a fork. Pour in the milk/cream/whatever, and add in some some salt and freshly ground pepper. Whisk very gently, and pour immediately into the hot skillet.
4. Let the eggs cooked undisturbed for about 4 minutes, until gently set. (Note: if you are multiplying this recipe to serve several people, once the frittata begins to set, gently lift the edges with a spatula to let some of the uncooked egg run underneath. If you’re only using two eggs, this won’t be necessary.)
5. Crumble the cheese over top of the eggs, and transfer skillet to the broiler for a minute or two, until the top of the frittata is lightly browned and the cheese begins to melt.
Note: zucchini flowers are highly perishable, and should be cooked the day you bring them home.
Tattoos and Squash Blossom Frittata
Another frittata recipe (yes, those are all links to 3 other frittata recipes). I know, I know. Boring, redundant, not exciting. Would you rather hear about my poison ivy? I could post some gross pictures, or I could tell you about all of the calamine lotion I’ve been dabbing on. Not fun. Somehow I had made it 23 years without ever getting poison ivy, and then when we went to the Gorge 2 weeks ago, things changed. Oh well. Maybe I’ll get lucky enough to go another 23 years without another splotchy red patch. My fingers are crossed.
I can tell you about something awesome that I did with my sis last night- Maggie got her first tattoo! Our cousin, Anthony Hall is an AWESOME tattoo artist. So, if you’re here in Lexington and need some ink, I’ll gladly give you his number! Here is a link to his profile- Reigning Ink. And here is my baby sister getting her first tattoo!
The flower is actually a Paw-paw flower. Our wonderful grandfather, whom we lovingly called Pawpaw passed away almost a decade ago. Maggie searched for a flower that she liked online, and amazingly enough, the one she liked happened to be the Pawpaw flower- how cool is that? Here’s a great post that Maggie did about the significance of the phrase “Breathe the world in” (which is also the title of her blog!)
Another fun fact before I bore you to death with a frittata recipe- I have a tattoo as well! I got my first (and only, for now) tattoo from Anthony as well back in 2009. It’s done with UV ink, so it’s pretty much invisible in plain light. BUT, when you put it under a black light, it GLOWS! (I haven’t even told my parents, Hi Mom, Hi Dad! See, Maggie isn’t too rebellious!)
It’s on the inside of my right calf. The phrase says “I surrender my life”, written in Hebrew. After seeing Maggie get her AWESOME tattoo, it really makes me want another, so I’ll definitely be thinking long about my next piece.
Daniel has a tattoo too, but for whatever reason, I cannot find a good picture of it! I’ll post it as soon as I can snap a pic!
About MeLaurie Constantino Anchorage, Alaska Laurie Helen Constantino and her husband have homes in Anchorage, Alaska, and on a rural Greek island. In both kitchens, the foods of the Mediterranean play a starring role. Laurie's cookbook, Tastes Like Home: Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, was published in 2007. Laurie's photographs are featured on her blog Picturing Anchorage (www.picturinganchorage.wordpress.com), where she also writes about city walks, trail walks, and interesting events in Anchorage, Alaska's largest city. View my complete profile
Chopped and lightly cooked in a bit of butter, zucchini blossoms make an excellent filling (with a bit of mild cheese) to a zucchini blossom omelet. Not up for making an omelet? Just stir them into some scrambled eggs. This filling is so tasty, we've been known to even serve it all on its own as a side dish—but that only happens when the blossoms are coming is fast and furious and I can hardly use them up fast enough!
Squash Blossom Frittata
It was our special thing when I was growing up, every Wednesday after school my mom and I would drive the 30 minutes to a farmers market north of our house. It was a small market, but it was full of treasures to me. I loved to pick out a little cup of freshly cut flowers and a pillowy round of fresh rolls. I would spend the entire drive home pressing my nose against the plastic wrapping, breathing in the fresh yeast smell.
Now when I go to Farmer’s Markets I’m still that little girl fascinated by each and every thing. I love slowly perusing each table considering what to buy (I’d love to buy one of everything!) and how I might use it later. I couldn’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday morning than making my way through the market with my husband and an ever-growing bag of goodies.
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To find a Farmers Market near you go to Local Harvest and just enter your zip code.