Things are winding down in the Fort kitchen garden, after a pretty good growing season. The climbing beans (Signora della Campagna) are still up and running, and the autumn/winter salads are looking good. Best of all, this has been a happy year for tomatoes, about which more anon when I have collated my tasting notes. However, it is of zucchini that I want to sing just now.
In spite of perpetual optimism and considerable experimentation, I keep coming back to a distinctively mottled, heavily ridged, variety called Romanesco. These may not be the heaviest croppers in the world (who wants a zucchini glut anyway?) but in my experience, they have the most marked flavour – a lively, sweet freshness with a meaty, marrow-y bong – but also will keep a firm texture when cooked.
However, this recipe doesn’t make real use of that characteristic, although it does show off the flavour. It’s a dish that can be made as a light lunch on its own, or to sit companionably along side a bit of chicken, rabbit or fish. The secret is in the breadcrumbs, which gives it a lightness as well as substance missing from more conventional frittatas. It’s an idea I nicked from the immortal Honey from the Weed by Patience Gray
½ small onion
1 small-medium zucchini
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp bread crumbs
salt & pepper
Chop the onion as finely as you can manage. Splash a little olive oil into a frying pan, and gently cook the onion in it until transparent. Grate the zucchini on a fine grater (eg the size you’d use for grating Parmesan ). This is one of the few occasions I wouldn’t use a micro-planer. Grate the garlic. Transfer both into a bowl. Add the breadcrumbs and mix well. Add the fried onion and mix again. Season. Add the egg(s) and beat together. Splash a little more oil into the pan and heat until it goes all mazy. Give the frittata mix a final stir and pour into the hottish oil. Fry very gently until the base has set firmly. Turn out onto a plate. Flip over and repeat the process. Eat and feel virtuous.