I’m a big fan of breakfast for dinner, often whipping up an impromptu frittata or egg scramble to plate with a simple salad and whole grain toast for a quick, satisfying supper. Besides the pleasure of the food, I relish the spark of rebelliousness that comes with breaking from what-to-eat-when convention. The same goes for pancakes and waffles – sweet and fruity or savory, they make for a fun, opposite-day supper, a holiday my daughter declared when she was younger.
This recipe brings a Dutch baby oven pancake to the table for any meal of the day in savory form. Instead of the typical sweet preparation, this one is seasoned with parmesan cheese and is made more healthful with whole grain flour and olive oil. After a short trip to the oven, its simple batter emerges gorgeously puffed and golden, ready to be topped with a colorful medley of sautéed vegetables and sprinkled with a confetti of fresh basil.
This particular concoction of sweet onion, corn, zucchini and tomatoes is one I make so often this time of year, it’s like a best friend I know I can rely on. The vegetables keep in the refrigerator for a few days, so you can make them ahead and rewarm for this recipe, or make a bigger batch, as I often do, to have on hand as a side dish, a salad or even folded into my eggs for breakfast, lunch or, yes, dinner.
Savory Dutch Baby With Summer Vegetables
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
½ cup diced sweet onion
¾ cup corn kernels (from 1 ear of corn or frozen)
¾ cup diced zucchini
¼ teaspoon plus ⅛ teaspoon table or fine sea salt, divided
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
¾ cup quartered grape tomatoes
½ cup whole wheat pastry flour or white whole wheat flour or ¼ cup each regular whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour
¾ cup low-fat milk
4 large eggs
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
4 large fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
In a 10-inch cast iron or ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the corn, zucchini and ¼ teaspoon of each salt and pepper, and cook until the zucchini is firm-tender, about 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes and cook until they are just warmed through, about 1 minute. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and cover to keep them warm as you prepare the pancake, or refrigerate until needed.
Position a rack in the middle of an oven and preheat to 425 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, the remaining ⅛ teaspoon of salt and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of black pepper. In a large bowl, whisk together the milk and eggs until well combined. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and whisk to combine, then stir in the parmesan cheese.
Wipe the skillet out, then return it to medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil, swirling to coat the skillet. Pour the batter into the skillet, then carefully transfer it to the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, or until the pancake is puffed and golden brown.
Remove the skillet from the oven, top with the vegetable mixture, garnish with the basil and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
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