If there’s one thing that garners so much praise and excitement for a such small investment in talent, skills, or time, it’s a frittata. As kids, my brothers and I would swoon over the idea of a frittata for dinner, mostly because it gave us an excuse to slather our meal in ketchup. As a parent cooking for five people every night, my mom embraced frittata dinners regularly. And seeing as how my own culinary artistry was founded on eggs, I often like to pretend I’ve slaved away at a home-cooked meal by putting a frittata on the table.
They’re especially handy when you find yourself with a slew of vegetables you don’t know what to do with. Or even better, vegetables your audience might not otherwise like. Peas or fava beans are perfect candidates for the frittata sneak attack, for example. This week we found ourselves with more zucchini than we could handle, so Joe and I threw together this amped up version of my mom’s classic frittata. It’s reminiscent of her usual approach, with simple vegetables, eggs, olive oil, salt, and pepper, but my mom is not one for experimentation in the kitchen (she leaves that to my dad). So when Joe plopped a few tablespoons of pesto into the beaten eggs, I got a grown-up version of the frittata-ketchup joy we felt as kids.
I hesitate to even call a blob of pesto an “experiment,” but considering this version would never be found in my mom’s simple kitchen, it feels a little rebellious. The best part about this particular frittata is that we used Tuesday’s pesto, fresh from my grandfather’s basil harvest. Making this frittata was all we could do to keep from eating the stuff straight with a spoon.
Zucchini Pesto Frittata
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons pesto
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 zucchini, sliced into coins
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs with the pesto, salt, and pepper. Coat a 10- or 12-inch cast iron skillet with olive oil and pour in the egg mixture. Top with a layer of zucchini rounds and cook for 20 minutes, or until the eggs and zucchini are a nice golden color. Serve with ketchup or hot sauce (depending on your crowd), and a sweaty brow.