In Italy, a vegetable egg slice would be called a frittata and in Spain, a tortilla. Both countries have many variations of fillings and are usually served as tapas or sold in slices to eat on the go. A slice is more solid in texture and doesn’t need any milk or liquid. The large quantities of vegetables give the slice a strong structure and extra nutrition!
On their own, zucchini tends to have a bland, watery flavour, but adding them to eggs, cheese and seasoning really improve their potential. While baking, the zucchini absorbs the strong flavours of the feta cheese and artichokes plus offers a nice texture to the slice.
You can substitute the olives and artichokes with sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, bocconcini balls, parmesan cheese or anything you love. If you are looking to add some meat, I would recommend slivers of ham or prosciutto.
I make these often to have as a snack, a side to soups or with a salad. They are great as a packed lunch or for a picnic. If you make mini muffins, these look fantastic on a platter to serve at a party.
Deciding whether to make it a slice or lots of muffins or both, is entirely up to you. From a practical point of view, I prefer to make muffins as they are easy to eat without utensils and freezing them in zip-lock bags is a breeze. If you intend to make this as a main meal, then I would opt for a slice.
Gluten-Free Zucchini & Feta Muffins or Slice
- 550g zucchini, unpeeled & grated (approx. 2 large zucchinis)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 tablespoons polenta
- 5 eggs
- 125ml olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chives, snipped finely
- 3 spring onions, finely sliced
- 50g fresh or frozen spinach leaves, shredded
- 300g feta cheese
- ½ teaspoon dried chilli flakes (optional)
- 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 200g store-bought or homemade gluten-free plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 20 black olives, whole & pitted
- 6 artichoke hearts, tinned, sliced in half
- A few snipped chives, to garnish
- A few fresh mint leaves, to garnish
- 30 x 30 cm baking tray to make the slice
- Several muffin trays
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F.
2. Cut one end off the zucchini and grate it.
3. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and gently massage it into the zucchini. Leave for 15 minutes in a colander to drain. This will draw out the excess water from the zucchini.
4. Gently squeeze the zucchini to release any remaining water.
5. Prepare the baking tin or muffin trays by brushing the bottom and sides with either butter or oil and dust with the polenta, shaking out any excess.
6. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until foamy. Add the oil, chives, spring onions, spinach, half of the feta cheese, chilli flakes and pepper.
7. Add the zucchini to the egg mixture and mix well.
8. Sieve the flour and baking powder over the zucchini mixture and combine well.
9. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking tin or muffin trays.
10. Decorate the top of the zucchini mixture with olives, artichoke pieces and the remaining feta cheese, half submerging them into the mixture.
11. Bake the slice on the middle shelf for 40 to 45 minutes or 25-30 minutes for the muffins. It is fully cooked if it the surface feels bouncy. Use a toothpick to test if the inside is cooked by inserting it in the middle. If it comes out clean, the slice is ready.
12. Allow the slice to cool for at least 30 minutes before slicing and removing it from the tin. Leave the muffins to cool down for 15 minutes and remove them to cool down further on a wire rack.
- Serve with a fresh garden salad as a meal or as a side to a hearty soup
- Makes a large slice measuring 20 x 20 cm or 30 muffins
- Keeps for 3 days chilled
- Suitable to freeze