Hometown: Spain
Birthday: unknown, pre-1400s
Also known as: quesado, cuajada, sfoungato

A variation of the frittata, the quajado is a baked, crust-less egg-and-vegetable dish derived from the word “coagulate” (Spanish: cuajar). This relatively simple dish has a heavy history: during the Inquisition, it was one of the foods that exposed Jews to the authorities. Most quajados in Seattle nowadays are made with at least two types of cheese (like Parmesan and feta), zucchini, tomato, or spinach and can be found at Sephardic Kiddush or Shabbat meals.

“Breakfast” in Spanish, desayuno became a fixture in Sephardic life on Shabbat. Services took place earlier in the morning, and when they got out it was too late for a normal breakfast but too early for lunch. So desayuno evolved as a Shabbat and holiday brunch, featuring egg dishes, cheeses, fish, savory pastries, and raki (anise liqueur).

Zucchini Quesado
Serves 10 to 16

Reproduced with permission from the Washington State Jewish Historical Society’s cookbook, Yesterday’s Mavens, Today’s Foodies: Traditions from Northwest Jewish Kitchens

“My mother always offered to make this delicious family favorite whenever we traveled to the ocean or somewhere else. It can be reheated and served anytime for breakfast, brunch, lunch, snack, or a light dinner.”
–Kathy Barokas

3 small zucchinis, unpeeled and grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
½ tsp salt
1 ¼ c Parmesan cheese
1 c crumbled feta cheese
1 c matzo meal
(or 3 slices white bread, torn into pieces)
5 to 6 eggs, well beaten
c oil
Flour, for dusting

STEP 1 Preheat the oven to 350°.

STEP 2 Squeeze the zucchini until all of the liquid is released and place it into a large bowl. Add the grated carrot. Mix in 1 c of the Parmesan cheese and the feta cheese. Add the matzo meal (or the bread) and the eggs and mix well.

STEP 3 Pour the oil into a 9x13-inch glass dish and heat the dish in the oven. Sprinkle just a bit of flour into the dish, then pour in the zucchini mixture. Sprinkle the top with the remaining ¼ c of Parmesan cheese.

STEP 4 Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the top of the egg mixture springs back.

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