Zucchini frittata with ham and basil

Zucchini frittata or what to do with what you have left in the fridge should have been the title of this recipe.

Who doesn’t love the versatility of eggs? They make a delicious, well-balanced meal anytime of the day. When I was a kid, my mom would say: ”don’t eat too many eggs, it is not good for your cholesterol.” It is very reassuring to know now, that it is not dietary cholesterol that makes your serum cholesterol rise, it is the saturated fats in animal products and the trans fats mostly manufactured by humans. Although I don’t recommend it, even eating two eggs per day is not problematic. You can say your doctor told you so.

Zucchini ham and basil frittata

I don’t think I will ever get tired of eggs in any form: a warm skillet frittata, a classic French-style omelette with its filling, a light cheese soufflé or baked eggs (oeufs sur le plat) like the French would say. I sometimes substitute eggs for egg whites but I like to keep at least one yolk for the colour.

Like all other frittate, you need to cook the vegetables before you incorporate them with the eggs. Do not overcrowd you skillet when cooking zucchini, nor overcook them: you will have zucchini mush, and that’s not what you want. Only add the zucchini back to the skillet after letting the bottom of the frittata set for two minutes or it will sink to the bottom.

Also, my final tip on making an excellent frittata with ham: only use cooked ham like prosciutto cotto or another good ham. Avoid using raw prosciutto, speck or pancetta. Their saltiness will permeate your frittata when they cook, often making it unpalatable.

Zucchini and ham frittata

Ingredients

1 tablespoon butter
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons parmesan, grated
pinch nutmeg
1 small zucchini, thinly sliced on a mandolin
1 or 2 slices of unsmoked ham, finely chopped
5 or 6 basil leaves, julienned
salt and pepper to taste

Frittata sandwich

Method

Turn the broiler on.

1. In a 9 inch non-stick pan, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the zucchini slices, adding a pinch of salt and pepper and stirring often, until softened, about 4 or 5 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2. Turn the heat to the lowest setting possible, take the skillet off the heat, and prepare the rest of the ingredients. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs with salt, pepper, nutmeg, parmesan and basil. Add one tablespoon of water to relax it.
3. Return the skillet over the heat, add a bit more butter if needed and transfer the egg mixture. Let it cook gently without touching it, for about 2 minutes, just to let the bottom set. Then, add the zucchini and the ham, making sure it is evenly distributed in the eggs.
4. Let it cook until almost set, about 5 to 7 minutes and transfer to the oven, under the broiler. Leave it there just one minute so that the top sets nicely. I prefer not to let it brown.
5. Let cool slightly in the pan and serve with crusty bread and a fresh salad, or at room temperature between two slices of focaccia.

Mium!

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