When I was living on my own for the first time, a friend’s mom gave me a battered, 1960’s edition of The Joy of Cooking, and for the next year I taught myself to cook by following its often dated but always instructive recipes. I was particularly fascinated by the chapter called “Eggs, Souffles and Timbales,” and though I don’t remember making any timbales, I learned to cook eggs in most every other way, from poached and over easy to omelets and quiches and simple souffles. After I became vegan, I didn’t so much miss the taste of eggs as I missed putting what I’d learned to use. Silly me. It took me years to figure out that so many of the egg dishes I loved best, the omelets, quiches, and frittatas, were easy to duplicate using tofu. This frittata is my most realistic and delicious eggsperiment (sorry!) yet.
I wanted to combine the texture of scrambled tofu–a little bit browned and crumbly–with the cohesiveness of an omelet, so I started this frittata off by browning regular, extra-firm tofu before adding shredded zucchini. While that was cooking, I blended up silken tofu with seasonings and a thickener and then mixed the two together and baked. The results were amazing, if I say so myself.
One thing: I baked my frittata in a pie pan because I didn’t have a non-stick skillet the right size. If you have a medium-sized (about 9-inch), oven-safe skillet that you trust to be non-stick, you can skip the pie pan and bake right in the skillet. But if you’re not sure about the non-stickness of your skillet, don’t risk it or most of your frittata may wind up stuck to the pan. And that would be a real shame because you’ll want to devour every bite.
Vegan Zucchini Frittata
Black salt, which is actually pink in color, can be found in Indian grocery stores for a very reasonable price. Just a little bit gives tofu a very eggy flavor and aroma, so use it if you really want to mimic the flavor of a frittata. If you don’t have it (or don’t like the flavor of eggs) just leave it out.
- 2 shallots, minced
- 1/2 14-ounce package extra-firm tofu (not silken), coarsely crumbled
- pinch black salt (optional)
- sprinkle of salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon (packed) minced fresh oregano (or 1 tsp. dried)
- 1 medium zucchini (about 10-12 ounces), shredded
- 1 12.3-ounce package lite firm or extra-firm silken tofu, drained
- 1/4 cup water or non-dairy milk
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon tahini
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- generous grating of black pepper
- pinch black salt (optional)
- Cut a circle of parchment paper to fit an 8- or 9-inch pie pan. Spray pan with non-stick spray and place parchment in bottom.
- Preheat oven to 400.
- Heat a non-stick pan. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they begin to soften but not brown. Add the crumbled tofu, black salt, and a sprinkle of salt and freshly ground pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tofu begins to brown in places. Add oregano and zucchini and continue to cook until zucchini softens, about 5 minutes.
- While the zucchini cooks, blend all remaining ingredients well in a blender. When zucchini has softened, remove the pan from the heat and pour in the contents of the blender. Quickly stir well and pour into the prepared pie pan. Be sure to scrape out any tofu that becomes stuck to the pan. Smooth the top and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until center is set and top is not yet browned.
- Loosen the frittata around the edges. Place a serving plate on top of the pie pan, and using pot holders, carefully invert the pan so that the frittata falls onto the plate. Slowly peel off the parchment paper from the top. (Use a knife to scrape off any tofu the clings to the paper as you pull it away.) Serve hot, cold, or at room temperature.
You can use any vegetable you like instead of zucchini; just chop, slice, or shred it small and cook it along with the regular tofu. Some longer-cooking veggies, like broccoli, can be steamed separately and then folded into the tofu. Just make sure that the vegetables are fairly dry because any extra moisture may prevent the frittata from setting properly.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s) | Cooking time: 35 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
Nutrition (per serving): 115 calories, 34 calories from fat, 4g total fat, 0mg cholesterol, 468.1mg sodium, 165.6mg potassium, 10.1g carbohydrates, 1.7g fiber, 1.2g sugar, 11.4g protein, 3.2 points.