Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Dinner for a Disappointing Day

Wednesday, well... kind of sucked. Only kind of--the kids went to their checkup and we received no alarming news, and it was a productive day of work. But there was that whole rejection letter thing, and then I went looking at house listings and stumbled over what was obviously meant to be my house, falling instantly in love with everything about it only to find out that it was already engaged to someone else.

So I was plenty bummed when I knocked off for the day and went over to the grocery store. On the walk back it started raining, then started pouring. Sans umbrella, I told myself it was the universe reminding me not to take myself so seriously.

Once home and dry, I cut up most of a butternut squash I'd bought on a whim over the weekend, and set it simmering in some chicken broth.

I put the zucchini from the farmer's market through the food processor, salted it and let it sit while I chopped up tomato and garlic, grated some Parmesan, and dug out the dried marjoram. Once all of that was set up and JJ had been corralled for the umpteenth time, I rinsed off the zucchini and broke six eggs into a bowl, then decided that wasn't enough and added one more. I shoved my stick blender into the squash, put some canola oil in a tiny frying pan with some of the garlic and a teaspoon or so of curry powder, then added that to the now-soup and returned to my eggs.

The recipe I was using had originally been published in Eating Well. I remembered it very well, but couldn't find it for the life of me, possibly because I was convinced it was in some other magazine. But the kindly souls at the Cooking Light bulletin board unearthed my own review of the recipe, from almost exactly four years ago. I'm pretty sure it's from Deborah Madison.
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, coarsely grated
1 1/8 tsp salt, divided
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 large eggs
4 large egg whites
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 c of Parmesan or Monterey Jack cheese
1 Tbsp chopped fresh marjoram
2/3 c part-skim ricotta cheese

2 1/2 c chopped tomato (we had grape tomatoes, I quartered them)
1 medium shallot, minced
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 tsp chopped fresh marjoram
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

My condensed instructions:

1. Toss zucchini with 1 tsp salt in a medium bowl; put in colander to drain for 20-30 minutes. Rinse briefly and squeeze dry.
2. Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over in a large non-stick skillet over M-H heat. Add zucchini and cook, stirring frequently, until water evaporates (5-6 min). Remove to bowl, wipe pan clean.
3. Preheat broiler.
4. Whisk eggs with salt and pepper in a large bowl. Stir in zucchini, cheese, marjoram. Heat 1 Tbsp oil in the non-stick pan over M-H heat. Add egg mixture and reduce heat to M-L. Dollop ricotta over the top. Cook until eggs are set on bottom, top still wet (5-7 min). Transfer to broiler and broil until done (3-5 min).

For tomato garnish: Toss all ingredients together. Cook in a skillet for a couple of minutes, until warm and releasing juices.

I sliced up some orange-cranberry bread from the farmer's market to go alongside, and the result was good enough to restore a teensy bit of gloss to the day.

8/7 - Edited to add photos.

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