Friday, August 16, 2013


We are now in the middle of zucchini season.  It seems everyone is trying to give away zucchini.  What is it about zucchini plants that seem to take over the garden.  Well I am one of those gardeners who did not have any luck with my zucchini plants this year.  For some unknown reason, every zucchini plant I planted did not produce.  All I got were beautiful bright flowers giving me such hope for the future only to end in disappointment, I did get about a 2 inch zucchini on one of them but it shriveled up and was gone into thin air or a critter ate it, I'm not quite sure.  I planted maybe 4 zucchini plants and also cucumbers and yellow squash which resulted in no produce.  I was absolutely crushed since I was hoping for at least a dozen or so nice zucchini and squash plants not to mention fresh from the garden delicious cucumbers. 

Some say it was the bad heat spell we had here in California in July which dried up everything.  I believe that was it because for 2 to 3 weeks straight we had temperatures of the high 90's to over 100.  We couldn't keep up with the watering and my plants probably suffered from it but why did other people do so well.  Did the zucchini somehow have a mission to avoid being productive in my garden this year?  Hmmm, can it be.   I did get some great tomatoes though and for that I am thankful.

It is a good thing that we have a Farmer's Market about 20 minutes from our house because I got some great zucchini there and a neighbor supplied me with one giant zucchini that she was given.  I made some bread with that one.  It is such a versatile vegetable.  There are many ways to cook it and this frittata is just one of them.  I make it all the time especially in the summer when the tomatoes are fresh and yes when the zucchini is in abundance.  It can also be made year round because most grocery stores now carry zucchini all the time.  You can substitute asparagus or yellow squash but we prefer the zucchini.

So let's get started making the frittata.  I like to use my large cast iron pan.  It holds the heat well and I like to finish off my frittata by putting it under the broiler and this pan is perfect for that.  If you don't have a cast iron pan then be sure your pan can take the heat of the broiler.  It will only be under there for maybe 5 minutes or less but it needs to be able to withstand the high temperature.  Preheat your broiler before you begin.

You'll need about 3 to 4 zucchini depending on the size.  I like the small/medium size.  If they are too big, you get lots of seeds and the inside is too hollow.  Be sure to scrub them and cut off the ends.  Then you want to cut them up into smaller pieces.  I just slice then vertically down the middle and then cut those pieces vertically again maybe into thirds and then chop those pieces up.

If you have cherry tomatoes you'll need about 7 to 8 and cut those in half.  If you don't have cherry tomatoes then cut up about 4 tomatoes into small pieces and set aside. 

You'll need some mozarella cheese which is what I use but you can also use Fontina as well.  I like mozzarella because I always have that on hand.  It really is your preference.  Measurement is hard to say but if you use the solid piece it would be about 1/2 inch slice down the whole piece and then cut that into smaller pieces, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 inch pieces.  I probably use about 25 pieces in total.  These will be tossed on top of the frittata at the end to melt.

You want to have 6 eggs in a bowl with about 1/3 cup of milk, salt and pepper and whisk this together.  Have all these things assembled and your frittata will go together in no time.

Now you are ready to make your frittata.  In the pan put about a tablespoon of olive oil and a tablespoon of butter.  Heat on medium heat until the butter melts.  Put in the cut up zucchini and fry until soft but not mushy.  This should take about 5 to 6 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Keep tossing the zucchini around to be sure it all gets cooked evenly.  Now add the cut up tomatoes and toss with the zucchini.  Cook for about 1 minute or so.

Once these have been cooking you want to add the egg mixture all at once.  This should all be cooking on a medium flame.  Not too hot or you'll burn the bottom but not too low or the egg will not cook evenly.

Cook this for about 1 minute then sprinkle the cut up mozzarella cheese evenly on top making sure each section gets some cheese.

Continue cooking for about another minutes or so.  Sometimes I like to lift up the edges to make sure the bottom has a nice color.  Immediately remove pan from stove and place under broiler.  You need to keep checking it to see that it doesn't burn.  Don't leave it or you'll have a burnt frittata.  This may only take a minute or two depending on your oven.  Once you see the top starting to brown, you can leave it in longer using your own judgement as to how you want the top to look.  I like it a little crusty, sort of like a pizza top. 

Remove from broiler and let it sit for about 5 minutes before cutting.  You can enjoy this cut intoslices with a side salad or in sandwiches with nice crusty bread.  It is also good the next day for breakfast served on a piece of toast.  Use your imagination.  This is a great meal to take on a picnic because it is good warm as well as cold.


1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon butter
3 to 4 small zucchini (scrubbed and cut up)
7 to 8 cherry tomatoes cut in half or 4 regular tomatoes cut into pieces
mozzarella cheese cut into pieces
6 eggs
1/3 cup of milk
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat broiler.  In cast iron pan or heavy duty pan heat oil and butter.  Once butter has melted, cook zucchini until slightly tender but not mushy.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Add cut up tomatoes and salt to taste.  Cook for about 1 minute.  Add eggs that have been whisked together with the milk and salt and pepper.  Let them set up for about 1 minute.  Add cut up mozzarella cheese and spread evenly over top of frittata making sure each section has some cheese.  Cook this for about 1 minute and then immediately remove from stove and place under broiler for another minute or until nice color is achieved and cheese is totally melted.  Remove from broiler and let it sit for about 5 minutes before cutting into wedges.

So go ahead and make a frittata and let me know how it turns out.  Don't forget to check back for new posts and sign up to follow me so you won't miss new recipes and ideas when they are posted.

Until next time,







Thursday, August 15, 2013


These are only a few of the meals you can create at home with a few simple ingredients. I created this blog to share my love of Italian food with you and to show you that making delicious home-cooked Italian food is not that difficult. You can feed your family wonderful food made without preservatives or chemicals. You will feel such a sense of accomplishment the first time you make homemade tomato sauce. Your family will be surprised to know that you actually made those meatballs all by yourself and they really were good.

Italian food is full of delicious ingredients and with the right combinations you can create wonderful dishes. Please take the time to visit my blog as often as you can to check out what's new.  I hope you like what you see here.  Your family deserves good nutritious food and so do you.