Chard (or Any Other Greens) Frittata (RECIPE)

November 5, 2010 § 11 Comments

As promised in my last post about home cooking, here’s an easy, healthy recipe that, though it’s meatless, will still satisfy those who are more steak-and-potatoes (as tested on my carnivore husband). This recipe was also a great way to use the chard that’s been going strong in our garden since August, even through heat spells, thunderstorms and 22 days of neglect while I was traveling. Pretty amazing plant!

The method for making frittatas — sauteing the ingredients in a skillet; whisking together eggs, cheese, and seasonings; pouring the eggs into the pan to set on the stovetop; then finishing in the oven — is a great one to master. Once you know the basics, you can create endless variations with ingredients you like. Frittatas are great for simple weeknight meals and lovely for guests for brunch. See notes at the end on other ingredient ideas, plus notes on how to grow your own.


Serves: 4 (half-recipe in parentheses below)

Total Time: 30 minutes, not including time to pre-heat oven.

Planning Notes: We have an ancient oven — the door of which my husband just glued back on so it would open — so it takes forever (35-40 minutes) to pre-heat. Make sure you start pre-heating your oven before you start cooking so it’s ready for the frittata.


10 chard leaves, about 1 bunch (5 chard leaves or 1/2 bunch); you could also use spinach, kale, or any mixture of these or other greens you like

1 onion (1/2 onion)

4 garlic cloves (2 garlic cloves)

8 large eggs (4 large eggs)

2 tablespoons grated parmesan (1 tablespoon parmesan)

1/4 cup milk (1/8 cup milk)

3 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs or 3 teaspoons dried herbs of your choice (1 1/2 tablespoons fresh, 1 1/2 teaspoons dried)

Salt and pepper to taste

Cooking Instructions

*Note: I’ve written the instructions in a time-saving way, where you’re chopping ingredients as you cook others, versus chopping everything in advance and then cooking them. The concept of mise en place (or setting up everything in place beforehand) is great if you’re a French-trained restaurant chef but not as practical if you’re trying to get dinner on the table in 30.

1 — Preheat oven if you haven’t already. Wash chard and shake off the excess water. Put a skillet (10-inch if you’re making the full recipe for four, 8-inch if you’re making it for two) on medium heat.

2 — Chop onion and garlic. Trim ends off of chard stems and discard. Slice stems off of leaves; chop stems into 1/2-inch pieces.

Chopped chard

3 — Add olive oil to the skillet; let it heat up for a minute. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is slightly caramelized, or browned (which adds a yummy sweetness). Add chard stems.

4 — Slice chard leaves in half lengthwise, then slice cross-wise into 1-inch pieces. Chop the herbs. Stir the chard stems once or twice while you’re chopping. Then add the leaves to the skillet.

Sauteed chard ready for egg mixture

5 — Whisk together, in a large bowl, the eggs, parmesan, milk, herbs and salt and pepper (you can just use a fork, which is easier to clean than a whisk). Stir the chard mixture in the skillet once or twice while you’re whisking so the chard doesn’t burn. When the leaves are slightly wilted, sprinkle lightly with salt, then spread the chard and onion mixture into an even layer with your spoon or spatula.

Whisked egg mixture with chopped parsley

6 — Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Lower heat to medium-low; let cook until edges are set, then transfer to the oven. Cook in oven for about 10 minutes, or until center is firm.

The frittata is finished!

Serving Notes

Slice into wedges and serve with a simple salad of mesclun tossed with a dressing of lemon juice, honey and olive oil, or drizzle the mesclun with olive oil and wine vinegar (personally, I like rice wine vinegar).

Expanding Your Repertoire: Frittata Variations

Two of my favorite frittata variations, in addition to this one, are:

  • Prosciutto, tomatoes and mozzarella: You saute the prosciutto with sliced shallots, add the tomatoes, then the egg mixture, then poke slices of fresh mozzarella into the eggs before they set (you could use bacon in place of the prosciutto)
  • Roasted red peppers and ricotta: You saute the red peppers with onions, add the egg mixture, then plop dollops of fresh ricotta into the eggs before they set

Mushrooms and herbs, potatoes and leeks, and sausage and peppers would make other tasty combinations. Click here for a list of the top 20 frittatas on AllRecipes’ website (I haven’t tried them but the list includes interesting ideas).

When In Season

  • Chard and other greens (kale, spinach), mesclun and herbs: All year

How to Grow Your Own Ingredients

  • Chard: Chard is pretty easy to grow yourself and does well in a pot. You can harvest the outer leaves and the plant keeps producing new ones, so it lasts a while too. Buy a packet of seeds from any garden store, soak the seeds overnight in water, and follow the directions on planting in the seed packet. Don’t forget to thin the seedlings as they emerge, otherwise the chard won’t have room to grow to a good size for harvesting.
  • Mesclun: Mesclun is one of the easiest and most rewarding things to grow because the seedlings emerge quickly and don’t take too long to be big enough to harvest, since you cut them when they’re 4-6 inches high. You can cut outer leaves and the inner leaves will keep producing. You can grow it in a pot, so you don’t even need a garden, just a balcony. Buy a packet of mixed mesclun seeds from any garden store, put potting soil into a pot or prepare a patch of soil in your garden, scatter the seeds, cover with a fine sprinkling of soil mixed with a bit of sand, and water. Water when the top two inches of soil are dry. In about 10 days, you’ll see seedlings emerge.


Could you imagine trying this recipe? Then share it with others!


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§ 11 Responses to Chard (or Any Other Greens) Frittata (RECIPE)

  • red pepper says:

    hash browns, mashed sweet potatoes or sweet potato fries would be yum with the frittata.

  • Emily Berry says:

    Stephanie – I came to your site through my friend Neha Kamdar. I have never cooked with chard before so thanks for this recipe – it turned out great. I really enjoy your blog and all the beautiful pictures. Thanks much! I am looking forward to making this for family and friends.

  • […] it to a frittata (see my chard frittata recipe here) or a home-made […]

  • mai truong says:

    Thanks Stephanie for a great quick & easy recipe. I also love that you write the recipe in such a way that you can actually accomplish it in 30 min or less. I have a serious meat & potato lover on my hands, but I bet he would enjoy this. Though I might need to replace your side salad with some hash browns ;).

  • Amy says:

    Oh my goodness that frittata is mouth watering!! I can’t wait to cook with you one day! I need to take time out of my busy schedule to actually make a delicious meal. The other night Anthony and I attempted Parmesan crusted Chicken with Spaghetti and it was yummy, but next time we need to fix our slightly soggy breading… Oh and by the way, I started my blog up again! 🙂 I have vowed to blog at least every other day as a relaxing outlet. I have a lot of news about my major too that I will be commenting on in the next few days! Love you!

    • Amy, Glad to hear that you and Anthony cooked a meal at home. Not sure how you cooked it but happy to offer tips on how to keep a crust crisp.

      • Amy says:

        We would LOVE tips. We dipped the chicken in a light coat of melted butter and patted Italian bread crumbs on top and popped them in a pan with some olive oil to pan sear for a bit. Then we put the chicken in a baking dish and baked it for a while. The crust pretty much fell off at any slight touch :(. It was slightly disappointing. What do you suggest?

      • Hi Amy, So when you’re breading chicken, fish or another item, you typically want to use this method:

        1 — Set up a “breading station”: Set up four dishes. Dish 1: Put some flour in it. Dish 2: Put beaten eggs in it, which you can mix with some milk if you like. Dish 3: Put your breadcrumbs, seasoned with whatever you like, here. (So, for parmesan, mix bread crumbs and parmesan together.) Dish 4: Leave it empty and ready for your breaded meat.

        2 — Rinse your meat in water and pat very dry.

        3 — Take your meat through the breading station. Dish 1: Coat the meat lightly in flour. Dish 2: Dip the meat in the egg mix. Dish 3: Dip the meat in your breadcrumb mix. Dish 4: Place your breaded meat gently on the empty plate until you finish all the meat and are ready to cook it (via frying or baking).

        You need the flour and egg mix as a “glue” of sorts to hold the crust on. Any ideas or tips from others??

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