A few weeks ago some food-blogger colleagues at MayIHaveThatRecipe.com posted a recipe for montadito - a kind of tapa with crunchy bread as a base (and almost anything on top). The tops on theirs were small, cut up chunks of eggplant frittata. You can find the recipe here.
I thought the idea was such a good one that I decided to embark on my own versions. My favorite was this one, a version of a version. That is, classic Shakshuka is made with braised tomatoes and peppers, a toss of feta cheese and poached egg on top. But I thought the vegetables and cheese could be cooked right along with the eggs, into a frittata.
You can eat the Shakshuka frittata by itself, of course. It’s a terrific brunch dish and way easier to cook than the traditional version.
But I cut it up to imitate my friends’ montadito and it became hors d’ouevre.
Nice thing about Shakshuka in frittata form — you can make it ahead and serve it at room temperature or reheat it.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
1 Serrano chili pepper, deseeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup halved cherry tomatoes
8 large eggs, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon zatar
1-1/2 tablespoons butter
1 cup crumbed feta cheese
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
30 1/4-inch slices baguette bread
2-3 tablespoons olive oil or mayonnaisparsley or basil leaves, optional
Preheat the oven broiler with the rack about 6 inches from the heat. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for one minute. Add the bell pepper, chili pepper, garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables have softened. Dish out the vegetables and set them aside. Mix the eggs, milk, basil and zatar together in a bowl. Heat the butter in the sauté pan over medium heat. When the butter has melted and looks foamy, return the cooked vegetables to the pan. Scatter the feta cheese on top. Pour in the egg mixture and turn the heat to low. Stir once or twice, then cook undisturbed for 6-8 minutes or until the bottom has set. Place the pan under the broiler for up to a minute or until the frittata is puffed, golden and crispy on top. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. While the frittata is cooking, brush the bread slices on one side with a film of olive oil and toast for a minute or so or until lightly browned OR, toast plain, let cool and spread with a small amount of mayonnaise. Cut the frittata into small squares just large enough to fit on top of the baguette toasts. Garnish with parsley or chopped basil if desired.
Makes about 30 hors d’oeuvre