Sunday, May 1, 2011

Shrimp and basil frittata

I am usually not a fan of egg-based dishes. Omelettes, quiches and frittatas are – despite years of trying – not to my taste.

Until now.

This brilliant concoction [I'm still marveling at how well it came out of the pan] is a shrimp and basil frittata, a glorious circle of lightness and flavor. It's based on Jamie Oliver's shrimp and parsley frittata, with a few changes to give it a bit more zing. It takes virtually no time at all to prepare and cook: preparation is limited to deveining some shrimp and grating Parmesan, and the cooking takes six minutes.

It's immensely satisfying when something so far from my usual repertoire works so well. And especially so when the past week has been filled with some of the best food in the world: seven course dinners at Belica winery in the Goriska Brda region of Slovenia, and fresh seafood out of the Adriatic in Piran. We spent the Easter weekend enjoying deer carpaccio, home cured prsut, potica, persimmon jam, whitebait, and scallop roe at two of our favorite restaurants from this posting. Slovenia has been the highlight of our posting to Budapest, and we will miss it.

Shrimp and basil frittata

What you need (serves two):
  • 6  eggs
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • a large handful of basil leaves, roughly torn
  • zest from half a lemon
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 8-10 shrimp, shelled and deveined
  • butter
  • olive oil

What you do:
  • Pre-the oven to 210°C. 
  • Place a good dollop of butter and a splash of olive oil in an ovenproof frying pan or pot, and heat it on the stove.
  • Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a small bowl with a little bit of salt and pepper. Add the basil, lemon zest, and Parmesan, and stir briefly. Then add the green onions and shrimp and stir again.
  • Once the oil and butter are foaming, pour in the egg mixture. Cook over medium heat while gently stirring for 1 min. Then transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 5 min., until the frittata has risen slightly and is light, fluffy, and just turning golden brown.
  • Serve with a simple salad.

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