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Wild Greens and Cheese Frittata (Frittata di Verdura e Formaggio)

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 vegetables won’t disappoint you.

Ingredients:

  • About 1 lb. leafy greens, such as spinach, chard, broccoli rabe or arugula, tough stems removed
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 eggs
  • 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 saucepan over medium heat, combine the greens and water. Cover and cook until tender, about 5 minutes for spinach or up to 10 minutes for tougher greens. Drain well in a colander, pressing out the excess liquid. Place in a kitchen towel and squeeze dry. 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 broiler-safe 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. Lightly stir in the eggs and arrange the cheese slices on top. Cook, lifting the edges as needed to allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath, until the eggs are set around the edges but are still moist in the center, about 10 minutes.

Transfer the pan to the broiler and broil until the top of the frittata is puffed and golden and the cheese is slightly melted, about 1 minute.

Remove from the broiler and transfer the frittata to a serving plate. Serve hot, cut into wedges. Serves 4.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Savoring Series, Italy, by Michele Scicolone (Time-Life Books, 1999).