Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How to Make a Frittata Like My 100 -Year-Old Italian Grandmother

Just over a year ago, I wrote a post entitled, "How to Make a Frittata Like My 99 -Year-Old Italian Grandmother."

Today I'm writing a post entitled, "How to Make a Frittata Like My 100 -Year-Old Italian Grandmother." That's right. Last fall, Nan turned 100. My mom threw her an old-fashioned birthday party replete with party hats, balloons, and the most lovely rose covered pink and white cake you can imagine.

Swiss chard, potato, and parmesan frittata

As I have written here before, Nan was a wonderful cook; her food, a familiar host of Italian dishes, was always simple yet unforgettably delicious. Though I think of Nan throughout the year, I think of her even more frequently during the Lenten season (when many Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays). That's because she would always have freshly cooked frittatas waiting for my mom and me when we would visit her on Friday afternoons.

Since Nan lives in an Alzheimer's unit at a nursing home, I am not able to enjoy frittatas with her anymore, but I have inherited her love for making them. And, trust me, you don't have to celebrate Lent or be Italian to enjoy frittatas. Here's why:
  • Frittatas are incredibly easy and fast to make.
  • Frittatas are inexpensive and make great leftovers, especially in sandwiches.
  • Frittatas are endlessly versatile. Search your fridge, and toss in whatever vegetables, meats, and cheeses you like.
  • Frittatas are fun to say. Seriously. Come on. Just say it once, like Nan used to: Fri - taaaa-taa. See what I mean? It makes me smile every time.
Today's frittata is make with earthy Swiss chard, creamy red potatoes, and salty Parmesan cheese. It pairs well with a cup of soup or a salad for dinner and makes a great breakfast sandwich when heated up and tucked inside of a toasted English muffin.

Now here's hoping that next year I write a post entitled, ""How to Make a Frittata Like My 101-Year-Old Italian Grandmother."

frittata breakfast sandwich

Swiss Chard, Potato, and Parmesan Frittata

Makes 2 large or 4 small servings
Print recipe only here.

1 small red potato, diced
1 small bunch Swiss chard, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1 shallot or small yellow onion
6 eggs (Egg Beaters or whites only are also fine)
1 tablespoon each fresh basil and parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
A few dashes of salt
1/4 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Par boil the potatoes by cooking them in a small pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Par boil the Swiss chard for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Over medium-low heat, add olive oil to an 8-inch non-stick skillet. Add shallots and potatoes; saute until golden brown, about 5 min. Add Swiss chard and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a small bowl; add fresh basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, mozzarella, and half the parmesan cheese and gently whisk until well combined. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. With a fork, gently move the egg mixture from side to side as it begins to cook to ensure that it cooks evenly. Do this until the eggs start to solidify and a crust begins to form around the edges. This takes about 5-8 minutes. Give the pan handle a jiggle, and when the eggs appear nearly set, remove the pan from the stove top.

Sprinkle the top of the frittata with remaining half of parmesan cheese and place under the broiler. Broil for 4-5 minutes, or until the top begins to puff up and turn golden brown. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Once nicely browned, let cool for a couple of minutes before slicing. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Click here for more tips on how to make a frittata like my 100-year-old Italian grandmother.

You might also like these Italian dishes by Nan:

How to Make Italian Pizzelle Cookies in 5 Easy Steps

Italian Ricotta Pie with Pineapple

Italian Easter Rice Pie

Here are more vegetarian frittatas you might enjoy:

Spring Frittata with Peas, Leeks, and Zucchini at Ms. Adventures in Italy
Frittata with Lemon-Braised Green Beans at Lucullian Delights
Persian Herb Frittata (Kuku) at Treat a Week Recipes

Save This Page on