Squash and thyme frittata
Today I wanted to make a version of a frittata with lots of thyme. It’s a superfood and amazing for your lungs – helping protect them from damage and also helping fight any infection trying to take hold. Thyme balances the sweetness of squash and the onions. I like to make a big frittata to eat over a few days (if it lasts that long). This recipe is one you can adjust as you like. If you don’t have squash, cooked potatoes, sweet potatoes or steamed broccoli florets would also work well.
The essentials of a frittata are onions, garlic, eggs and extra virgin olive oil and some sort of additional vegetable.
8 large eggs, ideally organic
1 large onion (200-250g)
2 cloves garlic, crushed.
Half a large butternut squash, peeled (you want around 450g flesh for the recipe)
Half level tsp Himalayan salt or sea salt
Generous handful of fresh thyme, rinsed and dried
3-4 tbs extra virgin olive oil
Optional extras: 1 dsp finely chopped sage leaves and/or 1 level tsp paprika
Heavy-bottomed frying pan that can be put under your grill
- Preheat oven to 200C(or 180C for a fan oven).
- Scatter thyme, stalks and all, into a roasting tin, add the squash, 1 tbs olive oil, sprinkle on the salt, some freshly ground black pepper and toss well.
- Roast for 45-60 minutes (giving it a toss half way through) until the flesh is soft when pierced.
- Meanwhile peel and chop your onions (about 1cm squares is nice). Add to a heavy bottomed frying pan along with 2 tbs olive oil 1 tbs of water and steam fry on a medium heat till translucent and soft. Steam frying is using a mix of oil and water and covering with a lid/plate and gently cooking till soft. This technique avoids the browning that damages food (and causes us inflammation).
- When squash is done (softish), remove from oven, let it cool a bit, then poke through, gathering up the thyme sprigs.
Pull the leaves off with your fingers (yes, you will get messy!) and add back into the squash. Throw away the bare twiggy bits.
- Beat 8 eggs with a generous pinch of black pepper, a pinch of salt and (if using) some paprika/finely chopped sage or both.
- Add the cooked squash and thyme, 2 cloves of crushed garlic to your cooked onions, give a stir and flatten down.
- Pour on the eggs and cook on a low heat for at least 25 minutes until the egg is set. I cover with a plate/lid during cooking to speed it up but you don’t have to.
- If you feel like it, flash the whole thing (but not any plastic handle!) under a hot grill for a few minutes to brown the top.
Serve hot or at room temperature with:
A big crunchy salad of green leaves dressed with my Mediteranean salad dressing (also on blog).
Why this is good for you:
Using extra virgin olive oil instead of low grade cooking oils helps make this healthier. All polyunsaturated nut/seed oils are toxic when heated or refined. Extra virgin olive oil, and virgin coconut oil are not polyunsaturated and so are much more stable when heated. This means they don’t do you harm.
Thyme helps your lungs function better, resist infection more, and helps prevent/treat coughs. There is a tide of high quality peer-reviewed research on medline about the bronchial benefits of thyme. Orange veggies are a rich source of beta carotene which in your diet also protects your lungs.
Onions are rich in inulin, a type of “prebiotic” fibre. Prebiotic fibres feed good gut bacteria which are so critical for your immunity. Over 70% of your immune cells live in your gut. Your immune cells are controlled in large part by the bacteria, fungi and viruses (yes viruses can be useful) that live in you. So eating a big variety of veg, herbs and spices gives a friendly environment for “good” critters to grow and help you. In fact there are more cells belonging to critters in and on you than make up you. Its just that the cells of micro organisms are a lot smaller than human cells!