Swiss Chard Frittata with Stems

I read somewhere in An Everlasting Meal that in Provence, little tarts are made from only the stems of chard (no leaves), and are scattered with raisins.  When I was in France, a lovely woman made a quiche one day that had raisins in it, and who knows what else, but it was a revelation.

So.  I’ve been trying to get more greens into our cooking rotation, and I decided to try the chard stem and raisin combination.  I threw the leaves in as well for good measure.

Swiss chard is related to spinach and is packed with Vitamins K, A and C.  It also contains a ton of magnesium, potassium, vitamin E, choline and calcium.  It’s basically a multi-vitamin in food form.

I baked this this afternoon, for dinner, and within an hour more than half of it had been sliced off and eaten.  I made it without cream or cheese, but you may add some cream to the eggs (see below) and some good chevre or something before you bake it.

Swiss Chard Frittata with Stems

1 onion, diced (about 1 cup)

1/4 c. white wine (optional)

1 bunch swiss chard, rinsed (about 15 stalks)

4 garlic cloves, finely diced

pinch cayenne pepper

pinch black pepper

generous pinch or two nutmeg

1/3 c. golden raisins (or the regular kind)

6 eggs

2 T mustard

Preheat oven to 350

1.  Rinse chard leaves and stems well.  Cut off the bottom 1/4 inch of each stem and discard the ends, and then pull the leaves off the stems.  Cut stems into 1/4 slices.  Chop leaves into small pieces.

2. Generously film a cast iron skillet with olive oil and heat to medium.  If you don’t have a cast iron skillet, use any other kind.  Cook onions with a generous pinch of salt for about 5 minutes.  Let them brown a little.  Add pepper, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg and stir around for a little less than a minute.  Add white wine and let liquid mostly cook off.  Add chard stems and cook about 4 minutes.  Then add leaves and raisins.  Stir for a minute or two until leaves have cooked down.

3.  Mix eggs with mustard and another pinch of salt.  Add 1/4 c. heavy cream if you want.

*At this point you can add the eggs and the vegetables to a pie crust to make a quiche rather than a frittata if you’d like.

4.  Remove vegetables from pan and film the pan (or a new, ovenproof pan, if you haven’t been using the cast iron) with olive oil.  Heat to medium-low, pour egg mixture in and add vegetables.  Stir around until vegetables are evenly distributed.  Let cook for a minute or two until eggs are partially set.

5.  Place in oven and cook for about 15 minutes, or until eggs are completely set.

You could also make a casserole out of this by tearing 5 or 6 pieces of stale sourdough bread into small pieces, mixing the bread with the cooked vegetables and eggs until the bread has absorbed enough egg to become moist.  Add a good half cup or cup of chevre or sharp cheddar.  Press the mixture into a greased baking dish and bake 15-20 minutes.


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