Recipe: Zucchini Tian with Pesto

zucchini tian

I really really struggled with what the heck to name this recipe. Zucchini Frittata? but no potatoes, Zucchini Omelette? but not enough eggs, Zucchini Quiche, but no crust. Whatever. I don’t really know what a Tian is, but I feel like this is a suitable name and…it’s my recipe right? tee hee.

This was, by far, the yummiest supper I’ve invented in a long time! I liked it so much I made comments after every bite about how happy I was about it! It’s like a frittata without the potatoes. Kind of breakfasty. Mostly raw food, because the zucchini is not cooked enough to be considered non-raw I think (there are rules about lightly heating some foods and it still being considered raw). The zucchini was still crispy anyway.  And pesto is raw.  For non vegetarians, I can see it being yummy with ham or prosciutto of some kind, and I think it would be an impressive brunch dish! It only took about 15 minutes to make!

Side Note: I love pesto. I have a special place in my heart for it. I usually make pesto with different and unique ingredients, but tonight I kept it classic. I’m sure you can buy reasonably good pesto, but it’s so easy to whip up and adds the perfect zing to this dish, so challenge yourself and try to whip it up homemade! I am not going to give a recipe for it because I make it completely by “feel” which is not conducive to recipe creation. In a nutshell though:  in a food processor, combine basil, a bit of olive oil, fresh lemon juice, parmesan, garlic cloves, pine nuts and sea salt. I think I made about 1/2 a cup today and I used approx: 1/2 cup basil leaves, two large garlic cloves, 2 tbs olive oil, 1/4 cup pine nuts and parm, juice of half a lemon, sea salt to taste.

Zucchini Tian

makes one 9″ diameter dish, serves 4

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 large zucchini, sliced very thin

2 leeks, thinly sliced, pale green and white parts only

4 eggs

1/2 cup crumbled feta



In a large sturdy frying pan, heat oil over medium heat. Meanwhile whisk eggs in a large bowl. Add feta, leeks and zucchini and stir to coat. Evenly layer the zucchini in the oil to entirely coat the bottom of the pan. Pour any extra egg mixture you haven’t scooped out with the zucchini into the pan. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until edges are starting to look cooked and set. ***tricky part*** use a spatula to loosen edges, gently reaching under the tian to make sure nothing is sticking on the bottom. Cover the pan with a plate or the lid of a large pot and carefully and quickly FLIP the frying pan over, so that the raw egg part is on the lid of the frying pan. Put the frying pan back down and gently slide the tian back into the pan, raw side down. Cook about another 5 minutes until bottom is set. It’s quite thin so shouldn’t take too long to cook through. Flip onto a plate and serve with pesto.

*** I know that might sound a bit tricky, all the flipping, and I’ve practiced quite a bit because this is how I make spanish tortilla. The worst that can happen is that it’s not pretty, and really…that’s not such a big deal!***

If anyone would like to suggest a better name, I will happily take it into consideration!


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Christine
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 23:06:29

    I bought a zuchinni yesterday with no definite plan for eating it….this is certainly a great idea!


  2. Tes
    Nov 01, 2010 @ 23:24:52

    Wow this sounds like my kind of breakfast. Healthy and delicious. I definitely have to try this yummy zucchini tian.
    Thanks for sharing!


  3. Lynae
    Nov 07, 2010 @ 19:10:58

    I tried this tonight and loved it! I had some issues trying to flip it. So because I had it in a cast iron skillet, I put my broiler on low and finished it in the oven. No mess and it turned out beautifully!


    • figandfennel
      Nov 07, 2010 @ 21:36:06

      oh that’s a great idea! flipping it is a bit tricky. My mother in law showed me a few times how she does it and I’ve found a rhythm. But after many failed attempts!


  4. Colleen
    Nov 08, 2010 @ 20:25:57

    I had planned to make this for dinner tomorrow and now that I’ve read about the flipping I’m slightly intimidated – but I will see if I’m feeling up to the challenge tomorrow and if not then I’ll use the broiler idea! Thanks for another great recipe.


  5. Jen
    Nov 21, 2010 @ 16:31:11

    I used less than one zucchini and only one leek and 4 eggs were not enough to cover it all. It sounded like WAY too much feta for our tastes, so I blended my feta with some cream cheese. We’ll eat in a few minutes. Flipping was a disaster, so I wish I had done it in my stainless so I could pop it in the oven. I had considered it, but didn’t follow through.


  6. Jen
    Nov 21, 2010 @ 16:53:22

    Nope.. not enough feta. I feared for nothing. Oh, and we skipped the pesto. I’d make that again though. Yummy!


  7. trying4paleo
    Mar 22, 2011 @ 19:24:45

    That looks really tasty – thank you for sharing!


  8. Trackback: Saturday Breakfast « Evie's This and That

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