Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Oh, Grate!

Frittata di Zucca & Pomodoro al Forno
Oven-Baked Pumpkin & Tomato Frittata

Indeed, that was what I did to make this simple but delicious frittata this evening... I grated! And what I grated, was the last of the Hokkaido pumpkin I had left over from the weekend... neither wanting to waste, nor to want this evening, I decided to turn it into a quick supper- and who knew it would taste so good?!!?

My whole motivation behind grating the pumpkin was of course to get it took cook really quickly... as if pumpkin ever takes that long to cook- haha! Ok- the time involved was only part of the deal, the other thing I wanted to do was to cook the pumpkin in such a way that it did not completely disintegrate and become a paste as it usually does in most recipes. And I am glad that I did, because this was a really delicious and different result that you are also bound to love... I hope! ;-)

I started off by coarsely grating the pumpkin and dry-frying it in a pan, without oil, until the color changed from the original vibrant orange color to a slightly paler shade, basically until it was half done. I had about 2 cupfuls of pumpkin in all. At this point, whilst it was hot a slightly moist, I added a little finely grated ginger and garlic (just use the other side of the grater), finely chopped chives, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cayenne. I stirred all of these ingredients together well and then allowed them to cool off whilst I cut 2 tomatoes into a fine dice. The residual heat was enough to partially "cook" the finely grated and finely chopped ingredients. Of course I removed the seeds from the tomatoes before I diced them- important so that things don't become too moist... And then I turned on the oven and began preparing to put my little frittata together.

I beat 3 eggs and seasoned them with salt and pepper- these would go into the frying pan first of course. In the meantime, the pumpkin had cooled down enough for me to add some finely chopped parsley and some grated cheese, as well as the diced tomato. As everything was cool now, it was easy to get a nice mix of all the ingredients without them clumping and sticking together. And now I was ready for action!

I wanted to keep things relatively healthy, so I simply rubbed a little butter onto my cast-iron pan and then popped it onto the stove top. Once it was nice and hot, I poured in the 3 beaten eggs and sprinkled them quickly with a little grated cheese and then the pumpkin-tomato-cheese mix. The cheese I used by the way was Scamorza- but you can use any cheese you might prefer. 

Moving swiftly, I then sprinkled the pumpkin mixture evenly on top, pressing it down slightly with a wooden spoon and seasoned it with salt, pepper and a little more freshly grated nutmeg. One last light sprinkle of cheese and into the oven it went, at 350°F for 5-6 minutes and then a further 2-3 under the broiler until it became golden brown... and very delicious!

I added plenty of basil as a garnish, so that there was at least one to go with each slice- basil is just one of the best things ever to combine with tomatoes! the result was, that this was a very juicy and delicious frittata, where none of the ingredients were cooked to death and each retained their distinct taste and character- so nice rather than everything becoming just one whole new flavor in itself as is sometimes the case. 

So, you see- pumpkin doesn't always have to end up as either pie or soup... there are so many more possibilities out there! And I hope that you enjoy this one as much as I did! Buon Appetito!

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