Toast half a whole grain panino, slather it with hot paprika-laced mayonnaise, stuff a spinach and red onion omelette with Aleppo pepper in the middle, and you’ll be back to your grant proposal in 20 minutes. Or 25 if you feel the need to blog about it.
A squash, onion, garlic scape, basil and Ricotta Salata frittata with hot paprika is a lovely way to feed your sister/cat sitter and use up last week’s CSA share before hopping a bus headed south. Pack this week’s veggies in a shoebox and you’ve got a lovely hostess gift for your waiting friends.
Yesterday Leila and Rubina–roommates who are just as lovely as their names imply–hosted a brunchecue at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Surveying my refrigerator while sipping my morning coffee, I determined to unload some of the three dozen eggs that I had amassed from my CSA. (They’re so good that I can’t resist getting an egg share but, even splitting it with a friend and neighbor, I still find the sheer quantity a bit daunting.) I was tempted to make deviled eggs, but transporting that many would be a challenge–particularly since I had to make a pit stop in Park Slope before heading to the brunchecue. I also had an abundance of summer squash, which I imagined would make for a lovely frittata. I was right.
Summer Squash, Scape and Basil Frittata
- 3 medium summer squash (green, yellow or a mix), sliced into 1/4 inch disks
- 4 garlic scapes (or some garlic or onions or whatever), thinly sliced
- 1/4-1/3 cup olive oil
- 1 dozen eggs
- 30-40 basil leaves, chiffonaded
- 1 tablespoon hot paprika
- salt and pepper
- Heat two tablespoons olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the scapes and sauté until the aroma of garlic makes you a little dizzy. Scoop the scapes onto a plate and add the first round of squash. Work in batches, flipping the squash disks once they start to brown. Add oil as needed and sprinkle each round with salt as they come out of the pan.
- Turn the burner down to medium-low and add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil. Preheat the oven to 425. Crack a dozen eggs into a large bowl. Add the paprika, salt and pepper and whisk thoroughly. Switching to a wooden spoon, gently mix the scapes, squash and basil into the eggs. If you want to get fancy about it, reserve your prettiest squash rounds and some whole basil leaves.
- If you’re aiming for a Martha-worthy flourish, arrange the reserved squash and basil in the bottom of your pan. Either way, gently pour the egg mixture into the pan, pressing any rogue squash pieces down. Let cook on the stove top for five minutes or so and then toss into the preheated oven.
- Your frittata is done when it has puffed up and the eggs have set. Pull it out of the oven and gently separate any edges that may have stuck with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon. When it’s cool enough to handle and you are satisfied that the frittata is no longer clinging to the pan, place a platter or cutting board on top and flip. If all goes well, the frittata should drop onto your serving dish. If not, just stick the pieces back together and call it brunch.
The park’s new Picnic Peninsula features long tables fashioned of salvaged wood, umbrellas that make a valiant attempt to shade one from the relentless sun, Hibachi-style grills, and glorious views of Lower Manhattan. I arrived early with a serious appetite. Tragically, a plate of rice salad, sweet and sour chickpeas, kibbeh, and grilled chicken wings left me too stuffed to do more than sample a few bites of the endless stream of food that arrived along with old and new friends throughout the afternoon. Sundried tomato sausage from everyone’s favorite Brooklyn pork store, gazpacho, quinoa salad, fresh tomatoes with tofu and basil, cherries, beef strips rolled around cheese and bread crumbs, watermelon, vegan beer brats, vegetable kebabs, and homemade desserts were strewn across 30 feet of table.
By 4:30, I had hit maximum sun capacity and decided to head up to Atlantic Avenue for shade, bathrooms, and a couple of cold beers before making the trek home. On the way out, I remembered to grab my now empty platter.