More Zukes! Light Zucchini Frittata with Basil and Mint

One of the greatest things about summer, to me, is avoiding the grocery store. Except for a few staples—we go through Cheerios like you wouldn’t believe—everything we eat in the summer can be purchased at the farmer’s market. There’s fabulous (though sometimes pricey) meat, all the vegetables we could desire, vivid-yolked eggs, and even homemade pastas and freshly-milled grains. It’s funny that my life in New York City brings me to a farmer’s market at least four days a week—I’m not sure I could hope for that if we moved somewhere quieter.

This light vegetarian supper was pretty locally sourced, if you’ll forgive me a splash of olive oil, a few spoonfuls of yogurt, and some quite necessary pinches of salt and pepper. The zucchinis were just too cute to avoid, even though I’d eaten my fill of them last week. The eggs were from a farm upstate, and had quite sturdy yolks—all the better for separating them. I probably could have bought the yogurt at the farmer’s market too, if I’d thought of it ahead of time. But this budget meal was assembled from what was already at home—extra vegetables from a stir fry, eggs I bought awhile back. The sweet zucchini is even brighter with a little of our balcony-grown basil and mint. A few fresh peas would have been great, as well.

My standard frittata is heavier on the yolks and usually includes some cheese. Feel free to riff, of course—a spoonful of soft goat cheese would be nice, as would a pile of shredded gruyere or asiago. But I’m experimenting with lighter meals and found this quite fresh and satisfying. The Greek yogurt adds a bit more substance (and is a good source of calcium and protein), though you must be certain to salt adequately, since it doesn’t have the salinity that cheese would add.

It feels right to lighten up our meals a bit in the summer, focusing on super-fresh produce and quick preparations. (I am also suffering, I must admit, from fear of a Certain White Dress and really, really hoping I can get it to fit in a few weeks time. 32 days. Not that I’m counting.) But if that means farmer’s market shopping from here on out, that’s ok with me.

How are all of you taking advantage of the season? Does anyone have a favorite light summer recipe to recommend?

Light Zucchini Frittata with Basil and Mint
serves 2

3 very fresh, small zucchini (around 6″ long), ends removed
2 shallots
olive oil
1 T fresh basil, torn or chopped
1/2 T fresh mint, chopped
2 eggs
3 additional egg whites
2 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt (I like Fage)
salt and pepper

Shred zucchini on a box grater into a large bowl. Squeeze out liquid then place directly into an 10″ broiler-safe skillet (I use cast iron). Slice shallots and add to pan. Add a glug of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and place on a low burner, stirring to distribute oil. Cook on low while you prepare eggs.

In a medium bowl, add basil, mint, eggs, and additional egg whites. Beat lightly. Add yogurt and continue beating until uniform. Add a pinch of salt and fresh pepper.

Preheat broiler. Turn heat on the zucchini pan up to medium, pour eggs into pan and stir to mix. Distribute zucchini evenly throughout pan. Cook 2 minutes until the bottom of the eggs seem set, then place pan under broiler until just set and beginning to brown, about five minutes.

In budget, eggs, healthy, light, vegetables, vegetarian, weeknight, yogurt

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