In my own personal food awards, frittatas win medals in these categories: Quick; Easy Supper; Vegetarian Entrées for All Tastes; and Everything That's Good About Eggs. In that last one, frittatas are to be commended for their ability to be both sturdy and tender at the same time, and for their willingness to be delicious at room temperature or even cold.
This frittata is like a crustless, vegcentric quiche. The zucchini, onion, and artichoke hearts—abstractly stacked like interlocking puzzle pieces, lightly spotted with goat cheese—provide the foreground. The eggs serve mostly just to hold them together. You don't have to walk on eggshells (sorry!) with this forgiving dish, as you might with an omelet, and if it breaks at any point, just piece it back together. This is a true keeper, and a confidence builder for any beginning cook.
8 large eggs
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups minced onion (1 large)
Pinch each of dried thyme and rubbed dried sage
2 small zucchini (1/2 pound total), cut into 1/8-inch-thick coins
8 ounces (1 1/2 cups) canned quartered artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and thoroughly dried
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
5 ounces soft, fresh goat cheese
Nonstick cooking spray
1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan
1. Break the eggs into a large bowl, cover, and let them rest at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients.
2. Place a medium (9- or 10-inch) ovenproof skillet over medium heat for about a minute, then add 1 tablespoon of the oil and swirl to coat the pan. Toss in the onion, spreading it out in the pan, and sprinkle in the herbs. Cook, stirring often, for about 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the zucchini and artichoke hearts, plus 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and continue to cook, stirring often, for another 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onion is golden and the zucchini is tender. Stir in the vinegar and black pepper to taste and remove from the heat.
3. Beat the eggs with a large whisk until smooth, adding the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt as you go. Scrape in the sautéed vegetables, plus all the flavorful bits from the pan, then crumble in the goat cheese and stir until blended.
4. Clean and dry the skillet, spray it with nonstick spray, and return it to the stove over medium heat.
5. Preheat the broiler to 500°F, with a rack in the upper half of the oven.
6. When the skillet is hot, add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, wait about 30 seconds, then swirl to coat the pan. Pour in the vegetable-egg mixture and let it cook undisturbed over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggs are set on the bottom.
7. Sprinkle the top with the Parmesan, then transfer the skillet to the preheated broiler, and broil for about 3 minutes, or until the frittata is firm in the center and golden on top. Run a rubber spatula around the edge to loosen the frittata. Slide or invert it onto a large plate, and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, cut into wedges.
For a beautiful color accent, add 2 or 3 finely chopped ruby chard leaves, including some of the stems
Add 1 teaspoon minced or crushed garlic to the onion after the first 5 minutes of cooking
Feta can substitute for the goat cheese; if so, consider reducing the salt to 3/4 teaspoon
Serve surrounded by halved (unless tiny) very sweet cherry tomatoes (orange ones, in summer, are especially great)
Layer thinly sliced, cooked potatoes with the zucchini in addition to, or instead of, the artichoke hearts
Reprinted with permission from The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation by Mollie Katzen.
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