Tuesday, 10 September 2013

The Fall of Summer

Frittata di Rucola & Zucca "Hokkaido"
Hokkaido Pumpkin & Arugula Frittata with Tomato, Cucumber and Oregano Salad

So you think pumpkin is a Fall ingredient? If you are in the States, probably the main thing you will make with it is a pie- if you are in Europe, a soup. And either of those things would be delicious- not only in the Fall but at any time at all!

But this lovely, super-simple frittata is so full of vibrant, good flavor and is so light and delicious, you may consider it more of a Summer kind-of dish. Well, considering our weather over here can't decide for itself whether it is Summer or Fall, I can't decide which season this is more suited to! I think it would be more than delicious year-round...

The flavors are simple and they simply work: egg, cheese, arugula and pumpkin and nutmeg for the Frittata and cherry tomato, cucumber, Spring onion and oregano on the side... you just know it makes sense!

To make it, I took a quarter of a small Hokkaido pumpkin and cut it into small, thin slices. I love Hokkaido not only because of the great flavor- but also because you don't need to peel it ;-) I simply cut little slivers off the pumpkin, this way and that way, revolving the pumpkin as I went along... they were about the size of a postage stamp... the size doesn't matter of course- the important thing is to slice it thinly so that it doesn't take too long to cook.

I popped the pumpkin slices into a dry pan, turned the heat relatively high and cooked them for 4-5 minutes until they began to soften and were almost half done. I tossed them every now and then to avoid them sticking or burning, but as that was not much of a task, in-between, I finely chopped up a good handful of arugula and emptied into a bowl with 2 eggs.

By now the pumpkin was fine, so I set it to one side to cool and turned my attention to the frittata. I added a good handful of grated cheese to the eggs- I had scamorza, but you can feel free to use whatever cheese you prefer. I seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg and a hint of cayenne and stirred everything together well. As soon as the pumpkin was cool enough, I added it into the mix and turned on the broiler, ready to finish this off in a few minutes.

You might think there are too many "dry ingredients" added to these 2 eggs- and indeed, the mixture DOES look very green until you add the pumpkin slices, but be brave and look at these pictures and you can see how it will all turn out! 

Into the frying pan it went- I used a non-stick one, so as usual I added no extra fat. There was enough in the cheese, once it melted, to keep the frittata juicy and delicious and to keep it from sticking and I simply believe in keeping the fat to a minimum in my dishes- but feel free to add olive oil or butter if you wish. I added a sprinkle of finely sliced Spring onion on top, a little extra cheese, and after 2 minutes on the stove top, popped it into the hot oven for a further 10 minutes to finish... and in that time I made a little side salad...

For the salad, I halved cherry tomatoes, added diced, seeded cucumber, finely sliced Spring onion and plenty of tangy and aromatic fresh oregano. I dressed it with olive oil, honey, a little white balsamic vinegar, a pinch of salt and a sprinkle of coarsely ground black pepper. And by the time the frittata was a yummy golden brown color around the edges, the flavors of the salad had combined nicely and that was a good thing... because I was very, very hungry! And you will be too!

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