Swiss Chard Frittata — Greens and Ribs

We got some excellent fresh Swiss Chard last week, and it made for a fine dinner Tuesday night and lunch on Wednesday.  Most of the time I use just the Chard greens in my cooking.  However, this bunch had the cleanest, most tender ribs I ever saw on this vegetable, so I decided to use them, too.  Ribs take longer to cook than the leaves — which are stripped off the ribs when preparing them.  Therefore, I cut the ribs across in 1″ pieces,  blanched them in boiling water for 3-5 minutes, and then chilled them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.  I cooked the leaves in a nonstick pan with just a little olive oil, salt, and the water clinging to the leaves after washing.  In essence, the leaves are steamed — covered in the pan over medium high heat, for 2-3 minutes.  After they cool down, I chop them coarsely and mix with the cut up and cooked ribs.

The frittata is easy:

  • crack 5 eggs into a large bowl
  • shred 1-2 cups of cheese into the eggs (we use a combination of Jarlsberg, some French Basque sheep cheese, and grated Parmesan)
  • add a couple of tablespoons of cream, then salt and pepper to taste, and mix all together
  • finally, add the chard leaves and ribs into the bowl and mix well
  • heat a good steel skillet (or a nonstick pan, if you prefer) over medium high heat, add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the pan, and pour the bowl of ingredients into the pan
  • reduce the heat to medium, and cook, mostly covered, until most of the egg has set — this may take 7-10 minutes
  • take the cover off, drizzle a little olive oil (and a little more cheese if you want) on top of the frittata
  • place in a preheated broiler to brown the top, watching carefully that it does not burn

Remove the pan from the oven, let cool a bit, then slide the frittata onto a large plate.  Cut and serve with your wine of preference, white or red.  In my case I chose a glass of Chicca, the Passerina by Pantaleone, which we had earlier in the week.

The next day I combined a wedge of leftover frittata with blistered Padron Peppers and a slice of my pan-grilled whole wheat bread to make a delicious lunch.


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