Frittata of Zucchini

Simona of briciole is hosting Cook the Books this round with a classic, How to Cook a Wolf by M.F.K. Fisher.   41pv10oswSL

Simona says:

Where can I start to talk about M.F.K. Fisher? Probably the best way is to choose one of her books and invite you all to read it. This will give you a good sense of how wonderful she was as a writer. Of the books written by M.F.K. Fisher (1908-92) that I have so far read, my favorite is How to Cook a Wolf, which, I believe, illustrates well the qualities that make her writing enchanting. After spending three years in France with her first husband, she came back to the United States in 1932. Five years later she published her first book, Serve it Forth. In 1941 came Consider the Oyster, followed, in 1942, by How to Cook a Wolf, described by James Beard as “her brilliant approach to wartime economies for the table.”

I had purchased Fisher’s The Art of Eating a few years ago when I realized I could not be a quintessential foodie without having read her works.     I was excited for another opportunity to delve into her delicious wit and revisit How to Cook a Wolf.     This book of frugality (and common sense) during the lean years of  WWII is pertinent today and many of her tips and ideas are echoed by locavores and modern chefs.

Her wry sense of humor, and dare I say snarkiness, is endearing and I started thinking about other food professionals I love with the same dry wit.

Segue alert:

I can imagine Anthony Bourdain interviewing Fisher on one of his television shows.   My imagination runs wild and I can just think of Fisher’s take on some of the new food trends.    What would her comments be regarding gourmet food trucks, molecular gastronomy, and, dare I say it, food blogs?

What would she think about Bourdain himself?    Would they team up?  The more I think about this, the more I envision it:   Anthony and Mary Frances—On the Road.   (Too bad this will never be.   I don’t think they even ever met.)

And what about David Chang (Mind of a Chef )?   I can envision him having deep conversations with Fisher over some sort of adult beverage.

PicMonkey Collage

Imagine all three together in the same conversation…


But, I digress.


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Fisher would appreciate this frugality. Everything is from our garden: Zucchini, red onion, garlic, pesto basil. Alas, the tomato came from the FM.

I am so glad that Simone recommended this book.   I was reading the revised edition with Fisher’s notes in brackets throughout.  Her insight nine years later is full of self-deprecating humor and even more culinary truths. I loved her frankness:   “One of the stupidest things in an earnest but stupid school of culinary thought is that each of the three daily meals should be balanced” (4).   Say what you mean, Ms. Fisher.    Do you think this practice is unwise?   (She is not one to mince words.   I love it.)

But, let’s consider the egg for this post.   Her chapter, “How Not to Boil an Egg,” is poetic.   She writes that the egg is the most private of things; that is, until it is cracked.

Until then, you would think its secrets are its own, hidden behind the impassive beautiful curvings of its shell, white or brown or speckled.  (54)

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I hope she would approve of these farm fresh eggs.   Zucchini and garlic from our gardens.   Eggs from the FM.

She continues to write about the best way to eat a fresh egg:   raw, boiled, fried or in some spectacular main dish like this frittata.    I am picking zucchini daily so my choice for this post was easy:   Frittata of Zucchini (p 60).

Frittata of Zucchini
Updated slightly from MFK Fisher

2 T. extra virgin olive oil
2/3 c.  diced red onions
1 clove garlic, minced
2-3 small zucchinis (about 3 cups)
1 sweet banana pepper, chopped
1 fresh tomato, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 T. fresh basil, chopped
8 farm fresh eggs (a must)
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1/2 c. Parmesan, grated

Heat oil in a medium saute pan and cook onions and garlic until soft.    Add zucchini and peppers and continue to saute until soft.  Season with salt and pepper.

Remove vegetables to a paper towel lined plate to cool.

Beat eggs with salt and pepper and Parmesan.      Mix in cooked vegetables, tomatoes and basil.

Pour into a hot skillet and stir a couple of times.    Cover and let it cook on low heat.    Place in an oven set to low-broil to finish the top.   photo (2)(It should puff up and pull away from the sides and be set.)

Whether it is a baked French omelet, an Italian Frittata or Chinese Egg Foo Yeung, it is basically the same dish, according to Fisher and the perfect avenue for fresh eggs.

“It is a poor figure of a man who will say that eggs are fit only to be eaten at breakfast…”

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Zucchini Frittata

Yes, indeed.   This was a perfect weeknight supper for us.  I served this with  some cucumbers (from our garden) and some nice slicing tomatoes (not from our garden) and some garlic-chive biscuits (herbs from our garden).

Stay tuned for some more zucchini posts.

If you have not read Fisher, you must!

Cook the Books is hosted by a great group of foodies:

Please join in the fun.   The next book is The Baker’s Daughter hosted Heather.    I have already read this book and LOVED it.    Grab a copy, get in the kitchen and post your inspiration by September 30.


And, for Abigail today—this is not a virtual flower but a bug.   How’s that?   I bought this cute hedgehog when we were on our lake vacation.   (Hedgehogs are suppose to be lucky for gardeners.)   I found this bug checking him out.

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Does anyone know what this is? Good bug or bad bug?

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