Monday, April 23, 2012

Swiss Chard from the garden and ...Frittata!!

We are on a swiss chard kick.  I think it has something to do with the 10 enormous chard plants we started from seed this past fall.  They grew on happily in our cold frame all winter and are now the size of small shrubs.  Still tender and tasty, we've been harvesting them like crazy.  Inviting us over for a pot luck, coming here for dinner?  You can guess what's going to be on the menu.  Ten chard plants for two people is just a bit too much.  It is time we make room for that arugula and red leaf lettuce that's trying to make its way in the same bed. Last night we lifted and used up four whole plants to serve ten people wilted chard leaves with fresh lemon, lots of chopped garlic and a little olive oil. Two giant bags of chopped chard turns into paltry portions before your eyes.  Also,  this is my new favorite way to eat chard on it's own.
With fresh eggs and fresh chard in abundance, it seemed a great time to make one of our favorite weekend breakfast, or week day dinner treats... a frittata. Frittatas are one of those wonderful quick concoctions that works with a wide range of ingredients.  If you have eggs and some fresh greens or vegetables, you've likely got the fixings for a good frittata. Cheese, garlic, onions, shallots, herbs and spices can be mixed and added to suit what produce you've got on hand.


Frittata for Two:
(This makes a hearty breakfast for two, or a respectable lighter meal for four. )
olive oil
1 large bunch swiss chard, stems removed
3 med. cloves garlic
6 -8 white button mushrooms
Parmesan, or other cheese
4 eggs
Pinch of marjoram

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Crack the for eggs into a bowl and beat together with a fork incorporating a pinch of salt, fresh group pepper and marjoram. Using  a large, seasoned cast iron skillet on medium heat add a little olive oil and a good pat of butter. Saute the mushrooms for a few minutes, and then add the garlic. Within a minute or so, before the garlic starts to brown add the chard to wilt. The moisture from the leaves should be enough to keep the garlic from browning.  As soon as the chard is wilted (1-2 minutes) spread the ingredients even across the bottom. You may need to add another pat of butter or a little oil to make sure that the eggs don't stick to the pan.   Pour the eggs over top. Do not stir!!  Let cook for a minute or so until eggs are set on the bottom.  Quickly remove from heat and grate a little parmesan on top. Place the skillet into the oven on the middle rack.    Keeping careful watch, remove from the oven once the eggs have fully set (about 5-7 minutes).   Let cool for a minute and use a spatula to cut down the middle of the pan.  Plate up with fresh warm bread, oven fries, or fried potatoes.

Now I just have to figure out what to do with the enormous bag of chard stems I couldn't bring my self to toss out!  Chard stem and carrot soup?? hmm...I don't know...


  1. Shannon, can we talk about chard? Or rather, my own chard shame? I LOVE greens, of all kinds, but for some reason, I just can't get into chard. The bitterness hits me everytime. I know I'm a little sensitive, but got any suggestions for using chard in more, uh, understated applications? AM I DOING IT WRONG?!?!

    1. Megan, I don't believe for a second that you can't conquer swiss chard. A couple things on the bitterness that I bet you already know... 1. pick it early in the season. It always has more sugars in the foliage after a frost.
      2. Once it start's to bolt or has been exposed to to many high temps it will start to turn bitter. I always try to cut mine first thing in the morning, and store it in the fridge till that evening. Young leaves, cooked gently should be best. I love to add some butter and olive oil to a pan. Toss in garlic and add the swiss chard as soon as the garlic starts to sizzle. Immediately add fresh squeezes of lemon, salt and a little pepper. As soon as it's wilted remove from heat. If your sensitive to the bitterness you can try a vinegar in place of lemon and a small amount of black-strap molasses which will help sweeten things up while adding things like B6, magnesium, iron, calcium etc.

  2. Try it with blue cheese in the frittata. Also, chard and blue cheese on pizza = to die for.

    1. Okay, I'm going to have to try that!! I love a red pear, blue cheese and red onion pizza, so I'm sure I'd like your suggestion.

  3. That is a mighty tasty looking frittata!