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Ricotta frittata

(debra samuels for the boston globe)
September 3, 2008
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Serves 6

The quartet of herbs in Simon and Garfunkel's version of the 17th-century English canticle "Scarborough Fair" is more than a familiar refrain. The bouquet also makes a savory herb mixture full of symbolism - rosemary for remembrance, sage for wisdom, thyme for courage and happiness, parsley for festivities. They go together so well that at some markets the herbs are packaged together as poultry seasoning. Gather the stems, strip off the leaves, and chop them finely, then sprinkle on pork or fish after grilling or tuck under the skin of chicken before roasting. The quartet can top off focaccia or savory biscuits, or go into any soft egg dish. Try it in this aromatic frittata with ricotta, zucchini, and yellow squash. Or tie your herbs for a fragrant gift. You'll be remembered by friends and true loves alike.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thickly sliced
1 squash, thickly sliced
Several sprigs each fresh parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme (2 tablespoons chopped)
1 1/2 cups fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
1. Set the oven at 350 degrees. Have on hand a deep 9-inch pie pan.

2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. When it is hot, add the butter. Add the onion and cook for 8 minutes or until softened. Add the zucchini and squash and cook for 5 minutes more or until the vegetables are just tender. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of the herbs; toss gently. Transfer to the pie pan.

3. In a bowl with a fork, beat the ricotta, Parmesan, salt, and pepper with a fork until smooth. Add the eggs one by one, the remaining 1 tablespoon herbs, and the cheddar. Pour the mixture onto the vegetables.

4. Bake the frittata for 40 minutes or until the mixture is set in the middle. Debra Samuels

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