How to Cook a Wolf Week: Day 2, A Broken Egg

“Probablly one of the most private things in the world is an egg until it is broken.”
This lovely bit of prose opens Fisher’s chapter “How Not to Boil an Egg.”  Fisher lays out a plan for meatless dinners–with eggs as the center of the show, bread to accompany, and perhaps a glass of port to comfort the soul.  A bit shocking for the 1940s.  Fisher suggests any number of vegetables to make a good frittata (string beans, peas, spinach, artichokes, etc), but she gives us a recipe for a zucchini and tomato frittata.
Use a cast iron skillet for this recipe, so you can go from the stove top to the oven with ease.
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Frittata of Zucchini (for example)
From How to Cook a Wolf by MFK Fisher (1942).
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion or three green onion
1 clove garlic
5 small zucchini, cut into thin slices
1 large fresh tomato or 1 cup canned tomatoes
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon herbs…parsley, sweet marjoram, or thyme
9 eggs
Heat oil in skillet and add minced onion and garlic; cook slowly ten minutes.  Add zucchini, tomato, and seasonings.  Cover, and cook until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat and let cool.
Beat eggs lightly, season with salt and pepper, and mix with cooled vegetables.  Pour back into skillet, cover tightly and cook over low heat until the edges of the frittata pull away from the pan.  Brown over a low broiler.
My copy of How to Cook a Wolf is the revised edition, published in 1954.  Fisher added this note: “As an older and easily wiser frittata cook I almost always, these richer days, add a scant cup of good dry Parmesan cheese to the eggs when I mix them.  Often I add rich cream, too.  How easy it is to stray from austerity!”  Like most of the recipes Fisher presents in her book, she doesn’t see this recipe as a poor man’s meal–a food only to be cooked in desperate times.  She views this as an  any day, everyday meal: filling, healthy and satisfying–that can also be made on the cheap.

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