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Crispy Zucchini Frittata

Crispy Zucchini Frittata

Maria Romano whips up a crispy and savory cake of egg and zucchini.
By Maria Romano

As you know, dear reader, great food need not be complicated or difficult to make; the best foods are simple, unpretentious, and fun to create and eat.  This frittata fits the bill and then some- make a quick batter, fry crispy golden, consume!

This recipe was developed by my grandfather, who sold zucchini frittata (along with artichoke and abalone- those were the days)  in his deli.  His goal was to make them sandwich-sized without cutting (as you would a traditional, pan-sized frittata) and to increase the delectable fried surface area. Also, it’s easier to simply fry a pattylike cake than go through all the oven and flipping stuff with your typical big frittata.  Also, this frittata is actually fried, so the name is accurate.  Fancy that.  Anyway, the resulting mini frittata is perfectly sized for a sicilian roll and full of the addictive caramelized delight that only onions and eggs can give you.  The frittata developed a cult following at his deli.

See Also

Eat it with a simple salad or drizzled with balsamic vinegar to cut the grease.  And since you’re already eating so much delicious oil, why not throw it on a beautiful roll made of durum wheat.

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Zucchini Frittata

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  • Author: Maria Romano
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x


A crispy and savory cake of egg and zucchini.


  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp (30 g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1lb (.5 k) zucchini, sliced very thinly with each slice quartered
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • handful grated pecorino romano (about 1/2 cup, or 120 g)
  • handful bread crumbs (about 1/2 cup, or 120 g)
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • mix of canola/vegetable and olive oil for frying


  1. Cook onion in oil at low heat until extremely soft and “melted”, about 25 minutes.
  2. Mix eggs, onion, zucchini, spices together. Add cheese and bread crumbs a little at a time until it has a batterlike consistency.
  3. Spoon batter into hot (not boiling!) oil. Fry, flipping halfway through, until cooked all the way through (varies, but usually about 5 minutes per side; until the middle is not jiggly). Drain on towels.
  4. EAT!
  • Prep Time: 25 mins
  • Cook Time: 50 mins


View Comments (7)
    • Wow, me too, the Romano’s lived a block from us. Loved the frittata sandwich’s. I will try to replicate, what else was on the same?

  • Maria, are the bread crumbs fresh or dried? My son Buddy, used to work at the restaurant in PB when he was a teenager, I dream about these frittatas but he can’t remember the whole recipe. Please help!

  • As zucchini’s and tomatoes ripen in the garden I begin to dream of the zucchini frittatas of Romano’s deli. I tried for years to replicate the taste. Thank you for this post. I will make them today.

  • Maria
    I can’t wait to try your grandfathers recipe. When I was a young girl in college I frequently dined at a family Italian restaurant in Pacif Beach, California, called Romano’s. What I always ordered was a zucchini sandwich and it was heaven!! It went out of business some years later. I have never seen a zucchini sandwich on any menu since and now I have found your family recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

  • I grew up in La Jolla in the 1960’s, there was a deli there and I was crazy about their frittata sandwich so I was excited to find this recipe but I’ve tried it twice but can’t get any decent meal out of it, can’t get anything close to a batter like consistency, big bummer.

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