The Kosher Foodies just wrote about Spanach Jibben which we used to call Spinach brownies or cupcakes when I was a child. This spinach, egg, and cheese dish was a great way to make sure us kids had something green without too much fussing or complaining. Tacking “jibben” after a vegetable pretty much means you are getting a Syrian style frittata. That is, eggs and cheese, but no tart shell like a quiche might have. And really, mixing baking any vegetable into eggs and cheese will convince just about any veggie-averse eater to take a bite.
I did just that with myself recently in order to acquire a taste for zucchini. I’ve never really liked it, but it’s such a thrifty squash that I felt like I was missing out by not liking it. I tried it in ratatouille and I was able to handle it for the first few bites but not after that.
One way I know that I’ve always loved zucchini is in a Syrian dish where the skin is peeled off (in my family anyway), the seeds are scooped out, and the leftover shells are filled with spiced meat and rice and cooked in a sour tamarind sauce. I made that and loved it, just as I had as a child. The next time I make it, I’ll share the recipe here. Not being one to waste edible bits if I can help it, I wanted to figure out something to do with the middles I had scooped out.
Cue Kusa Jibben, which is the squash equivalent of Spanach Jibben. Of course, being me and being lazy, I wanted to make this dish without making the stuffed squash dish first. And well… I still don’t love zucchini. So here is my colorful version of Kusa Jibben; in this case, a zucchini and carrot Syrian frittata.
Recipe: My version of Kusa Jibben, Syrian style frittata with zucchini and carrots
Makes 4-6 servings
- 4 cups zucchini, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, shaved or finely chopped
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 3/4 lb mozzarella cheese, grated (I like there to be more veggies than cheese, adjust upwards if you like)
- 4 eggs
- 1 tbsp butter, chopped into small cubes
- Saute the onions, zucchini and carrot for 5-10 minutes, until all vegetables are tender.
- In a large bowl, beat eggs and stir in grated cheese. Add cooked vegetables, salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Pour mixture into a greased pie plate or baking dish. Place butter cubes evenly across the top.
- Bake uncovered for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. It is done when the edges are lightly brown and crisp.
Enjoy on its own, or in a pita.
One year ago: “Unfried” Black Beans
About this author: I'm a New Yorker who would rather cook than go out to restaurants. Sometimes I think I may be in the wrong city for that. Then I remember the exotic ingredients I'd be hard-pressed to find if I lived somewhere else. My cooking style is an eclectic range of everyday-American, Italian, middle-eastern, with extensive forays into Japanese cuisine, and some pit-stops into Indian and African cuisines. I love to try my hand at recreating dishes I taste. While I enjoy most anything with a flavor, from high cuisine to instant junk food, I have a soft spot in my belly for home-style cooking no matter the geographic or ethnic origin.