I threw out a mess of produce the other day, and it just about killed me. Sunday's perky tomatoes had adhered to the counter by Tuesday, and when I lifted them up to examine the undersides a torrent of fluid oozed out like pus from a wound. Meanwhile, last week's neglected zucchini had gone soft, its cucumber cousin limp. I mourned their passing and vowed never to overbuy again.
This week I was more careful, but I still took in an impressive haul. I could say I don't know what possessed me, but I do: the chill in the air heralds fall's imminent approach. Soon, pumpkins and Christmas trees will work themselves into vacant lots, and late summer tomatoes will recede until they vanish, quietly, without warning or fanfare. Then I'll be sweatered up, watching leaves flutter lazily to my shoes.
We're not there yet, though. Not quite.
Take full advantage while you can.
Recipe for Roasted Vegetable Frittata with Fresh Ricotta
Look no further for a beautiful, low-effort egg dish ideal for entertaining. If you roast the vegetables the night before you can seriously get this from stove to oven to table in about 12 minutes. Fresh ricotta here makes a big difference, and the vegetables themselves are endlessly versatile. When the weather cools, substitute roasted fall or winter veggies with ease.
Makes 4 large or 6 small portions
25 cherry tomatoes
1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2" half-moons
2 bell peppers (preferably a mix of red, yellow, or orange), cut into 1" pieces
2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
2 tablespoons olive oil
olive oil spray or nonstick cooking spray
2 tablespoons milk (I used whole)
3 tablespoons fresh ricotta
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Arrange the tomatoes, zucchini, bell peppers, and garlic in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grinding of black pepper. Use clean hands to distribute oil and seasoning evenly. Roast in the oven for about 25 to 30 minutes, or until vegetables are nicely browned, stirring once halfway through. Cool.
[Once cool, you can refrigerate the vegetables overnight, but it's certainly not necessary. Discard the garlic, if you like, before proceeding.]
Place an oven rack 6 inches from the top of your broiler. Preheat broiler.
In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, milk, 1/2 teaspoon salt and a grinding of fresh pepper.
Heat a 9-1/2" oven-proof skillet (enameled ceramic or nonstick, preferably) over medium heat and coat the bottom and sides with olive oil spray or cooking spray. Scrape in the vegetables. Pour on the egg mixture and dot with the ricotta. Reduce the heat slightly, and cook, covered, for 4 minutes, or until the bottom is set but the top remains slightly wet.
Remove cover and slip the skillet under the broiler. Keep the oven light on and pay close attention so the frittata doesn't burn. Broil about 4 minutes, or until the top is deep golden brown. Let cool slightly, and serve warm or at room temperature.