EDITOR’S NOTE: Chef at the Market is a program at the Tanana Valley Farmers Market in which local chefs use fresh Interior Alaska produce and provide on-site demonstrations for easy meals from vegetables readily available right here in and around Fairbanks. The program, now in its eighth season, is the result of a partnership between the Fairbanks Economic Development Corporation, Bread Line and their Stone’s Throw Program, the Tanana Valley Farmers Market and the Alaska Farmers Market Association. On Wednesdays when the program takes place, we’ll feature the chef for that day as well as a recipe or two. Today, chefs Liann Peryea and Shannon Charlie are at the market from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. cooking with zucchini. For more information about Chef at the Market, visit www.facebook.com/FairbanksFirst.
Our recipe this week is Ratatouille Frittata. We are using all that fresh market produce and featuring zucchini and pan baking them in eggs, finished with a balsamic reduction and cheese.
Ratatouille is neither French nor Italian. It is Western Mediterranean. Therefore, it is part of the cuisines of Provence, Nice, Piedmont, Liguria and others. People naturally guess it is an Italian dish because it fits so neatly with Italian cuisine. In fact, when the dish originated, the area of Nice and Monaco were under Italian influence. Ratatouille typically has eggplant, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, zucchini, garlic and herbs all simmered in olive oil. But the vegetables can vary according to what’s available or the cook’s taste.
Frittata is an Italian word that translates loosely to fried, and is a general term for cooking eggs in a skillet, sometimes finished in an oven.
Ratatouille Frittata with Balsamic Reduction
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 portions
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 1 medium red onion,sliced thin
• Salt and pepper
• 1 pepper, diced
• 2 small zucchini, diced
• 2 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
• 1/4 lb tomatoes, chopped
• 6 eggs, beaten
• 1/4 cup water
• Butter for pan
• 1/2 cup cheese, grated
• 1 cup Balsamic Vinegar
In a small saucepan on high heat, boil vinegar until reduced by half. Cool and use.
Medium skillet with lid
Heat oil in a medium skillet, add the onion, a pinch of salt and pepper to taste. Saute the onion about 4 minutes, just till soft. Add the pepper, zucchini, garlic and another pinch salt and saute until tender. Stir in basil and tomatoes. Whisk the eggs with salt and pepper to taste and pour over the vegetables. Keep your heat on low to medium — you want to cook the eggs without burning the bottom! Cover with a lid, checking every few minute until eggs are set. Remove from heat and brush with balsamic reduction, then sprinkle with cheese. If you can, let sit 5 minutes to set fully, then slice like a pie and serve, sprinkled with more cheese and herbs if desired.