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Frittata with Greens

It is not unusual to drive by a meadow in Italy and see someone foraging for wild greens. Country people know just which ones are the tastiest and where to find them. If they pick more than they can use, they often bring the extra to the market to sell. In Sicily, this frittata is commonly made with wild greens, but cultivated greens won’t disappoint.

Ingredients:

  • About 1 lb. leafy greens such as kale, chard, broccoli rabe or spinach, tough stems removed 
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 eggs 
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced 
  • 1/4 lb. ricotta salata or young pecorino cheese, thinly sliced 

Directions:

In a large pot, combine the greens and water. Cover, place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 3 to 4 minutes for spinach, up to 10 minutes for tougher greens. Drain the greens and let cool. Place in a kitchen towel and squeeze to extract the excess liquid. Chop the greens and set aside.

Preheat a broiler.

In a bowl, beat the eggs just until blended. Season with salt and pepper. In a 9-inch ovenproof fry pan over low heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the greens and a pinch of salt, and stir and toss to coat the greens well with the oil. Lightly stir in the eggs and arrange the cheese slices on top. Cook, using a spatula to lift the edges of the egg to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath, until the edges and bottom are set but the center is still moist, about 5 minutes.

Transfer the pan to the broiler about 4 inches from the heat source and broil until the top is puffed and golden and the cheese is slightly melted, about 1 minute.

Slide the frittata onto a serving plate. Serve immediately, cut into wedges. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Italian by Michele Scicolone (Oxmoor House, 2007).