A summer frittata served slightly chilled and imbibed al fresco- the cold, silken eggs, fluffy and yet almost custard-like, provide a welcome contrast to lunch grilled on a New York City rooftop on a muggy, oppressive afternoon.
Farm-fresh eggs are gently whisked into harmony with lusciously velvety goat cheese and young but zaftig summer zucchini, awakened with delicately tangy, tender garlic scapes.
I purchased ten blossoms, each with electric lime green feathery petals, their tips like paintbrushes that have been gently dipped in apricot-colored paint.
I gently cover the frittata with poetically baroque squash blossoms, the wispy, edible flowers that grow perched, somewhat aloofly, atop their host. With frilly, vibrant petals as delicate as tissue paper, they almost seem too resplendent, too fragile, to consume.
The frittata is puffy, yet filling, the tender bites of sautéed zucchini lending substance and a faintly earthy flavor, a perfect pairing to the mildly garlicky scapes. Squash blossoms lend aesthetic beauty, the crowning jewel of a harmonious creation.
Squash Blossom Frittata
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch pieces (about 1 3/4 cups)
1/3 cup garlic scapes, thinly sliced
8 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
5 ounces soft goat cheese, broken into small pieces
1/2 cup whole milk, cream or half and half
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped
10 squash blossoms, stems removed if male, stamens removed if female
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk together eggs, salt, pepper, half the cheese, parsley and cream or milk in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Heat olive oil and butter in a 10-inch cast iron skillet over high heat. Add zucchini and a pinch of salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes. Turn down heat to medium and cook until the zucchini is tender, about 4 more minutes. Add garlic scapes and cook, stirring, 1-2 minutes more.
4. Pour egg mixture into skillet and stir to distribute ingredients. Sprinkle the rest of the goat cheese on top and carefully arrange squash blossoms around the frittata, pressing them about halfway into the egg mixture.
5. Cook over medium heat until partially set, about 5-8 minutes.
6. Put frittata in the oven on the top rack and bake until fully cooked, puffy and slightly golden, about 20 minutes.
7. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: Serves 8.