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.