Saturday, March 23, 2013

Fire Roasted Pepper, Zucchini,
Broccoli and Mixed Olive Frittata
Meat Free Week – Day Six


I wanted to keep a green theme with this frittata, since we're not really supposed to be eating anything "red" during this Carb Free/Meat Free week – tomatoes, carrots, beetroot are all out – and yes, I know, we had stuffed red capsicums on Wednesday, but I needed a little deviation for the week to help me get used to going carbless!

Since then, instructions from Tony have been very clear that Lisa goes in the naughty corner if she tries to put anything else red in the meals this week. (Thank goodness he didn't notice the withered-away slices of tomato in last night's briam!)


After the success of last week's Greek Roasted Vegetable Frittata (not counting the fact it got drenched in rain the next day), we thought a high-protein, low-carb frittata for Meat Free/Carb Free week would make a lovely Saturday night meal.

Fire roasted peppers (capsicums) are used in quite a few Greek recipes. Many of the bottled fire roasted peppers you find in the stores are produced in Greece. The Greeks know how to fire roast their peppers! I discovered this last year in Limnos when my aunt Koula showed me how it's done.

Spray the pepper with oil, pierce it with a big fork and hover it over a gas stove flame for about 15 minutes!

It goes from looking like a regular pepper . . .


 . . . to looking like an alien.


The idea behind "fire roasting" a pepper in this way is that it is quick, and it keeps the vegetable intact so you can peel the skin and then slice it into rings, which was what I wanted to do for tonight's frittata.

You could just slice the uncooked capsicum into rings and place straight onto the frittata if you wish – it will still cook nicely in the final baking. But if you're like me and not a huge fan of capsicum skin, this step is worth it. And it's fun! Just be careful with the flame – oil will drip from the capsicum and when it comes in contact with the flame you'll experience a bit more fire action than you might want.

After the pepper has blackened, just pop it in a plastic bag to sweat for about 20 minutes, then when it's cool enough to handle you can easily remove the skin. It should be soft enough to flatten out a bit without breaking the flesh – it's easier to cut the rings if you flatten it.


The rest of the frittata recipe is a cinch, and I have to say, this one ended up tasting quite a bit better than the one I did last week. I used a deeper baking dish this time and cooked it at a slightly lower heat which resulted in a more moist frittata. I also added some cream to the egg mixture, and the olives imparted a zingy, salty contrast to the creaminess of the eggs. Very, very lovely :)

There is a lot of egg and cheese in this dish, and it may seem a lot for two people, but because of our low-carb diet this week we must make up for that in protein and fat for our energy. This is a lovely, indulgent meal but I would normally have something like this only once in a while.

We served up the frittata with a simple green salad of rocket leaves, avocado, celery, cucumber and pumpkin seeds, tossed in extra virgin olive oil and lemon juice.


Fire Roasted Pepper, Zucchini, Broccoli and Mixed Olive Frittata


Serves 2–4, depending on whether it will be an entree or a main meal

Ingredients

  • 1 fire roasted* green pepper, sliced into rings
  • 200g broccoli, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 20 shelled pistachio nuts (optional)**
  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1cm thick strips
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/3 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup grated sharp cheese
  • 100g feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
  • 20 mixed olives, halved lengthways
  • Olive oil for frying

* See paragraph about fire roasting a pepper earlier in this post.
** We added the pistachio nuts, just because we had them. We couldn't really taste them in the frittata ;)

Instructions

  1. Fry broccoli in olive oil until starting to brown. Add garlic and pistachios and fry for another minute or so. Set aside.
  2. Spray zucchini strips with oil and fry or grill until golden brown on both sides. Set aside.
  3. Combine eggs, cream, cheeses and parsley in a bowl and whisk lightly.
  4. Pour a little of the egg mixture into a square baking dish (ours is 20cm x 20cm) and lay zucchini strips and spread broccoli mixture over the egg.
  5. Reserve five rings of your green pepper and 16 olive halves, and lay the remaining rings and olives into the dish, then pour in the rest of the egg mixture.
  6. Arrange your reserved pepper rings and olive halves in a pretty, symmetrical pattern over the egg mixture and bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until the top is golden brown and an inserted knife comes out clean.



8 comments:

  1. beautiful visual symmetry and harmony of flavours. bravo lisa!

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    1. Oh I am so drawn to symmetrical patterns... maybe it's that ancient Greek architectural/engineering thing :)

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  2. wow- not only no carbs, but nothing red! you two don't mess around!

    the frittata looks SO DELICIOUS. i love how packed with vegetables it is.

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    1. Thanks Caitlin! It was very filling (we probably ate too much - shared the whole thing between us in one sitting!) but indeed delicious!!

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  3. The prettiest frittata I've ever seen! Love the design with the peppers and olives. :) This looks like it tastes as great as it looks, too.

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    1. Thank you Kare! I like to make pretty patterns with food :) It's a shame to go cutting them up though. I made sure I took about 50 photos of the frittata before I cut it - I didn't want to see the pattern go!!

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  4. Those gorgeous olives on the top are making my mouth water! I'm making your stuffed cabbage leaves this week, but I think I might have to add this to the menu for next week. :)

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    Replies
    1. I love making patterns with food :) (I can hear my mother saying "are you STILL making patterns with your food?!!).

      I would love to hear how you go with the cabbage leaves. I have another recipe for stuffed cabbage leaves with egg and lemon sauce coming soon too!

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