This is an attractive frittata. But the tomatoes weren’t put on the top for appearance. It was done for flavor. Let me explain.
I started out wanting to make a frittata with zucchini. Zucchini is a mild vegetable, so I needed something to complement it. Tomatoes seemed the obvious choice–think ratatouille. But I though if I cut up the tomatoes and mixed them in the frittata, they would overwhelm the zucchini. Also, given the nature of a frittata, only so much can be mixed in, so including the tomatoes would reduce the amount of zucchini, further limiting the zucchini flavor. That’s when I had the idea of slicing the tomatoes thinly and using them to cover the top. The zucchini could be the star in the body of the frittata, to be complemented by the tomatoes on the top.
If you’ve looked at any of my other frittata recipies, you have seen that I like to finish the cooking of the frittata under the broiler. I made an exception for this one, baking it in the oven instead, because I didn’t want to brown the tomatoes.
Zucchini and tomato frittata
1 cup zucchini cut into matchsticks, about 3/16-inch (1 good-sized zucchini)
1 tablespoon shallot, chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated or finely shredded
2–3 Roma tomatoes, sliced very thin, enough to cover the frittata
fresh ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cook the shallot in olive oil about 2 minutes over low heat until it starts to get soft. Add the zucchini and a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for another 2 to 3 minutes until the zucchini just starts to soften. Don’t overcook, and remember that it will cook some more in the frittata.
Put the eggs into a good-sized mixing bowl and beat just to mix them up. If needed, add a bit more oil to the pan and let it get hot. Add a small amount of egg mixture to the pan to set the bottom of the frittata to prevent sticking. Turn the heat down to medium low. Mix the zucchini and shallots and the Parmesan into the eggs and pour the mixture into the pan. Place the tomato slices on top, covering the frittata. Sprinkle a little more salt and pepper on the tomatoes. Cook this for about 5 minutes to set the bottom and sides.
Put the frittata in the oven. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until the egg next to the tomatoes just starts to brown.
Remove from the oven, loosen up the sides with a spatula if necessary, and slide the frittata out onto the serving plate.