Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Sicilian-Styled Swiss-Chard

Frittata di Bietola, Pomodoro Secco, Olive & Scamorza Affumicata
Frittata with Swiss Chard, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Smoked Scamorza Cheese

I really can't claim to be in the know as to just WHY this wonderful green is known as Swiss chard, as it grows all over the place (thank goodness!) And although the origin of the name is credited to a Swiss botanist by the name of Koch, who named it in the 19th century, it makes no sense at all to me as the name in Swiss does not resemble the word "chard" in the slightest! Over there it is known as "krautstiele"- but you know what? I don't actually care! All that I care about, is that amongst the many countries that it grows in worldwide... it also grows in Sicily! And they know how to compliment its flavor in the best possible ways over there... and I happen to know a couple of those ways myself...

So pull up a chair and take a little look at this here plate of goodness- there's a lot of good eating to be done here. As usual when it comes to my dishes, it takes but a handful of ingredients to put this little beauty together. It really doesn't take much to make a nice satisfying meal... I hope I have managed to show you that for a while now if you have been visiting regularly. And if you haven't? Well, welcome! Come join us now and
let me tell you about how I do things around here... 

In the picture above, you can see the ingredients you are going to need to make this. First and foremost- take a look at the proportions of those ingredients compared to each other. Orient yourselves upon the size of the eggs- that's the easiest way for you to judge the size, when I say I used a small head of chard... yup! That's one young and tender little plant there. Then there was 1 small shallot, 4-5 sun-dried tomatoes, a little handful of olives and about a quarter of a smoked Scamorza cheese- but you can replace this with any other mild, melting cheese you may prefer.

The first thing I did was to wash and then chop the card into bite-sized pieces, to salt them slightly and to pop them onto a steam-rack to pre cook for 10-15 minutes... which was great as it gave me plenty of time to get busy with the rest of the work...

Whilst the chard steamed, I finely diced the onion and popped it into a small frying pan with just a hint of olive oil, to fry gently until it became transparent.

In the meantime I cut the sun-dried tomatoes into thin strips, plucked the olives off the pits and into pieces (I think they are much nicer that way than sliced) and grated about a third of the smoked Scamorza. As well as cutting an extra piece off to nibble on whilst preparing the rest. 

Once the onion was translucent, I added the sliced sun-dried tomatoes and olive pieces for just a minute or so, which gave them time to soften up nicely, ready to be added to the eggs- which were the next thing I needed to prepare...

I cracked and separated the 2 egg whites from the yolks and whisked them until they were nice and fluffy, then stirred in the yolks and gently folded the mixture together. I seasoned the eggs with a little salt, pepper and nutmeg. 

By that time, after around 15 minutes, the chard was nicely done, so I lifted the steamer out of my saucepan and let it cool for a while, whilst beginning with the eggs.

I poured about a quarter of the egg mixture into a small frying pan and then added the sliced and steamed chard all at once, before pouring the rest of the egg mix over the top. I then sprinkled about three quarters of the grated Scamorza on top and spread out the sliced tomatoes and the black olives evenly and decoratively, then added the last quarter of the cheese and a nice grind of fresh pepper... nice and simple!

I let it sizzle away on the stove top for 2-3 minutes at a high heat and then transferred the pan to the oven for 4-5 minutes, also at around 350°... and in around 5 minutes minutes time the result will be golden brown, super-delicious and ready to enjoy!

The thing to remember here is that chard, black olives and sun-dried tomatoes are really good friends- especially with a little nutmeg added-in. I recommend you give this a go... and I would go as far as to say that I recommend you do it soon... it's that good! Enjoy!

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