Sunday, 11 January 2015

Over the Rainbow

Frittata Soffice di Bietola Colorata, Ricotta & Olive
Fluffy, Colored Chard, Ricotta & Olive Frittata


You may have noticed the gloriously colorful Swiss chard on my Facebook timeline yesterday- how could I possibly have resisted it when I saw it at the market hall yesterday?!?! Not I- and that is for sure!

So, this evening, I turned it into an equally colorful and totally delicious supper- a fluffy, frittata, enriched with Ricotta cheese, nutmeg and black olives... another favorite Sicilian flavor combination.


With regular green chard, I would have popped it into the frying pan with a little garlic, onion, olives and olive oil, seasoned it with salt, pepper and nutmeg. I would have served it along with a fried egg and some crusty bread and been as happy as can be.

But I had this beautiful red and yellow, colored chard this evening. So I had to treat it a little differently and turn it into something a little more worthy of those great colors!


2 small stalks of chard, 2 eggs, 2 tablespoons of Ricotta cheese, 2 tablespoons of bread crumbs, 6-7 black olives and a hint of nutmeg- those few things were all I needed to make a yummy little frittata that would have been enough for 2, had I served it with bread and a side salad. But I didn't. So yes- it was more than plenty for one!  


By beating the egg whites, I brought in lots of body, which not only made it easier to incorporate all of the chard, but also gave the frittata a lighter consistency and more volume at the same time.


Looks pretty good there- doesn't it? Want to know how to make it? Sure thing! Just carry on reading...


First of all, thoroughly wash the chard, then chop off the stalks and cut them into slices of about 1" or so.


You can boil them together without worrying about the colors mingling- 10 minutes in salted water is plenty. After that time, lift out the stalks and set them to one side to cool off, then pop the leaves into the same water to boil. Being much more tender, they will be done in just 5 minutes.


Once the leaves are tender, pour off the water, rinse them under cold water to cool them off and to stop the cooking process, then wring them out and chop them up finely.


Now that the chard is done, it is time to prepare the eggs. Crack the 2 egg whites into 1 bowl and whisk them up nice and firmly, and pop the yolks into a separate bowl and add the ricotta, salt, pepper and some nutmeg to season. Whisk these up into a nice, smooth batter too and you are ready to put everything together!

Add the egg-yolk / Ricotta mix, the finely chopped leaves and a couple of tablespoons of bread crumbs to the egg whites and stir them all together- gently but thoroughly.


Keep stirring until everything is nicely blended- like so.


Pour the fluffy batter into a non-stick pan, turn on your oven to get it ready and then carry on with the fun part of the assembly...


Spoon the chopped chard stalks on top and press them into the batter. Add the olives- which I pitted and halved, a very light sprinkle of bread crumbs, a hint of grated Parmesan if you wish, a light drizzle of olive oil and a last sprinkle of pepper. Now, give the frittata a head-start on the stove top for 5 minutes, before popping it into the oven to finish off, at 180°C for around 15 minutes more.

The few added bread crumbs will help to absorb any excess moisture you may have and the salty olives give some good contrast of flavor to the sweet but earthy chard- and all of that combined with the mild Ricotta cheese and the hint of nutmeg- well, I am sure that sounds just as good to you as it actually is!


And one last thing... this is one way to get your children to eat their greens without them knowing it! haha!

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