Zucchini Torta a la Genova Delicatessen, Oakland, CA

Medium Serves: 4-6


The Genova makes "torta" -- both zucchini and artichoke -- that's resembles a denser frittata. After many attempts to reverse engineer the recipe, this one comes close.


  • 1 lb. zucchini
  • salt
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped
  • fresh ground black pepper (about four grinds)
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), plus more for oiling pan and brushing top
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup fine breadcrumbs
  • 2 ounces + 2 tbsp. grated Parmagiano Reggiano


Grate half the zucchini (I use a medium microplane); salt and set into a lined colander. Slice the remaining zucchini into thin (1/8- 1/4 inch) half rounds, salt and set in a strainer. Let the zucchini drain for about 20 minutes.

Heat one tablespoon of EVOO in a pan. Squeeze the excess water out of the grated zucchini and add it to the pan. Toss zucchini in the oil and then cook partly covered over low heat for five minutes or until just tender. Remove from pan and set aside to cool. Add two tablespoons of EVOO to the pan, heat, add the onions and cook as above until tender; add the sliced zucchini, basil and pepper and continue cooking partially covered over low heat until tender. Remove from the pan and set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 350. Beat four eggs until foamy. Fold in 2 oz. of parmesan, then the cooked grated zucchini and the bread crumbs. Remove about 3/4 cup of this mixture and reserve, then fold the zucchini-onion mixture into the remainder.

Oil an 8x8 baking dish. Spread in the sliced zucchini-onion mixture, then smooth the grated zucchini mixture on top. Sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons of parmesan, brush with EVOO and bake for abut 25 minutes or until a knife blade comes out clean. Cool until completely firmed and set.



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