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Zucchini Frittata


Chef Giovanni Ricci, Venda Ravioli, Providence

This is a good recipe for surplus zucchini. When picking zucchini flowers, try to pick them early in the morning, before the flowers close up. If you have to pick them closed, tap them first to see if there is an angry bee trapped inside.

12 farm-fresh eggs

5–6 large basil leaves, julienned

18⁄ cup grated Parmesan cheese

4–6 large zucchini flowers

All-purpose flour

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 small Spanish onion, finely diced

1 medium zucchini, coarsely grated

1 vine-ripened tomato, diced and strained

¼ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Kosher or sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 300°.

In a large bowl, beat eggs thoroughly. Mix in half the basil and Parmesan cheese. Lightly dust zucchini flowers in flour, then in the egg mixture, and reserve.

Place a 12-inch nonstick, ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat. Add a thin layer of olive oil to the pan. Add the onions and stir until they are lightly caramelized. Add the shredded zucchini and diced tomato. Season with salt and pepper. Stir constantly and cook until the zucchini starts to become translucent.

Increase the heat for a few minutes, and drizzle the perimeter of the pan with olive oil. Add the beaten eggs and reduce the heat to low. Stir the eggs constantly while adding the shredded mozzarella and the remaining Parmesan and basil. Allow a crust to form on the bottom and sides. Lightly loosen with a heat-resistant rubber spatula.

Press the zucchini flowers on top and place pan in oven.

Bake for 15 minutes (or 20 minutes if using a 10-inch pan).

Loosen with a spatula and slide onto a large, warm serving platter.

Serve immediately. Serves 6 as a light entrée.

WINE PAIRING: Elvio Tintero Grangia NV, Piedmont, Italy. From a small commune called Mango in the foothills of the Alps, this wine features a local grape called Favorita with a touch of Moscato and Arneis blended in—each farmed sustainably. An off-dry frizzante white wine, its effervescence helps the basil in the frittata explode with flavor while a touch of almond in the wine helps the Parmesan’s nutty flavor stand out. Salute!

—Peter Andrews, Grapes & Grains, Barrington


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