Yield: 8 servings as an entrée
- 1 10-oz. bag fresh spinach
- 3 young zucchini
- 1 medium onion
- 2 Tbs. butter, divided
- 1/2 cup sun dried tomato strips (not in oil)
- 12 eggs
- 3 Tbs. cream
- 2 tsp. fresh chopped herbs of your choice—oregano, parsley, dill etc.
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Reggiano parmesan cheese
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Place the spinach leaves in a bowl. Salt them heavily, using a couple of teaspoons salt altogether, and tossing the leaves with the salt to coat them all. Let stand 15 minutes to wilt. Wash, trim and slice the zucchini, and give them the same treatment, salting them well. Place the zucchini in a colander, so they can drain.
When both vegetables are salted, halve, peel and slice the onions fairly thin. Melt one tablespoon of the butter in a sauté pan, and cook the onions over medium heat, stirring frequently, until they are soft and starting to turn golden. Salt them to taste, and turn them into a medium bowl to cool.
Place the sun dried tomatoes in a small bowl, add hot tap water to cover and let soak for a couple of minutes until they are slightly softer. Drain thoroughly.
When the spinach is totally wilted, place the leaves in a towel. Twist it closed, and squeeze until all the liquid drains from the spinach and you have a small ball of very dry leaves. Chop the leaves fairly fine and add to the onions.
When the zucchini has drained, give it the same treatment, but gentler—most of the liquid will already have drained out, and you want the slices to still look like slices. Add to the onions. Add the tomatoes, as well.
Preheat the oven to 275°F. Take another bowl, this one large enough to hold all the ingredients. Break all the eggs into it, and whisk to thoroughly combine the yolks and whites. Add the vegetables, cheese, cream, a teaspoon salt, a good grinding of pepper and the herbs, and mix together well. If you’re worried about it being too salty, before you add the salt test a bit as scrambled eggs—you’ll find that most of the salt from the vegetables will have leached out with their water.
You can completely cook the frittata in the oven, in a well-greased pan, or you can start it on the stove and move it to the oven once the bottom is set. If you like a little brown on top (you will flip it out of the frying pan), do the latter. Use a 10-12 inch frying pan, non-stick is great or cast-iron, and melt the remaining tablespoon butter in it. Add the frittata mix, and cook over gentle heat until the bottom is set. Then, place it in the oven to finish cooking. If you prefer it NOT to be browned, butter a baking pan well, pour in the mix, and simply bake it until it’s firm. This should take about 20 minutes.
Serve hot or at room temperature. The frittata will keep for several days in the refrigerator.
Cook’s Notes: By salting, rather than pre-cooking the spinach and zucchini, you preserve their nutrients and color. Substitute other vegetables of your choice, add some cooked sausage or ham, or different cheeses, and play with this recipe—you’ll find it a versatile one.