Here in central Italy it is not uncommon to see slices of vegetable frittata on an antipasti platter, and I have gotten into the habit of often making them myself. We do a weekly wine tasting for our farmhouse guests and I make a couple of appetizers for each of the three types of wine we serve. One easy and delicious option I usually make for this event is a frittata of some description depending on the season, and types of fresh vegetables I have on hand. For this frittata I used baby zucchini that I cut into pieces, along with onion, garlic scapes, a little diced pancetta, and some cheese. This is a great make ahead appetizer option as it can be made ahead of time and can be adapted easily as you choose.
Garlic scapes are simply the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature. Growers often remove the scapes to push the plant’s energy toward bigger bulbs, and when harvested while they are young and tender, the scapes are delicious. The scapes have a unique, mildly garlic flavor and work really well with eggs. Since we live in Umbria, Pecorino is often my cheese of choice, and I did use a combination of diced young Pecorino, as well as some grated, dried aged Pecorino in my frittata. You can use grated Parmesan instead if you prefer for the dried cheese, along with any soft cheese you choose. Asiago or Fontina would work really well. If you are unable to find garlic scapes, you could add a little chopped green onion, or simply just leave them out. I bake my frittata in a 7 X 9 inch rectangular pan, but an 8 inch square cake pan would work fine.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 2 Small Zucchini, Ends Trimmed And Cut Into 3/4 Inch Dice
- 1 Small Onion, Peeled & Diced
- 3 - 4 Tablespoons Garlic Scapes, Diced (Optional)
- 1/4 Cup Diced Pancetta
- 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil (Plus Additional To Grease Pan)
- 1.5 Ounces Soft Cheese, Finely Diced (See Options Above)
- 1/4 Cup Grated Pecorino or Parmesan Cheese
- 2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 2 Teaspoons Chopped Fresh Basil
- Salt & Pepper
- 5 Large Eggs
- 1/2 Cup Milk or Cream
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Lightly oil an 8 inch square cake pan. In a frying pan, heat the olive oil, and then cook the onion, pancetta, and zucchini until the vegetables are tender, and the pancetta just beginning to brown.
- Add the chopped garlic scapes if using them, and cook another minute or two.
- Place the vegetable and pancetta mixture into your pan, spreading it across the bottom evenly.
- Sprinkle the diced cheese on top.
- In a bowl, beat together the eggs, milk, grated cheese, and fresh chopped herbs with a whisk until light.
- Season with salt and pepper and then carefully pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the pan.
- Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until set and lightly browned.
- Cool to room temperature and then cut into squares or wedges.