Chard and saffron frittata

Happy New Year everyone! I wish you all Plenty of joy, happiness and health in 2013. It should be a good year in blogging too.

If you don’t own a copy of the cookbook Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi, I suggest you get one now. Almost 300 pages of exquisite vegetarian recipes that will make you forget all about meat. I have had it for over one year now, and all the recipes in this book are absolutely fantastic.

The author calls this dish an omelette, but, technically, because of how it is prepared, you will agree with me that it is a frittata, not an omelette. I found it extremely difficult to turn the frittata in the pan without breaking it, so I decided to cook it alla Marcella Hazan, by finishing it under the broiler. This way, the frittata easily slides off the pan and the difficulty level drops exponentially.

I made these for Christmas brunch, and, of course, I could not find any crème fraîche in the city so I had to improvise and make my own.

Make your own crème fraîche:

In a bowl, add 1 cup heavy cream and 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Let rest on the kitchen counter for 12 to 24 hours and you will have thick, luscious crème fraîche. You can store it in the refrigerator and it will keep for up to one week. In the cold winter months, to help the bacterial cultures along, I preheat the oven to 200 F and when it just reaches that temperature, I turn it off, put the bowl of heavy cream and buttermilk mixture in the oven for about 20 minutes. Then I let it stand on the counter for the rest of the day. By the end of the day, the crème fraîche will probably have set.

You will get similar results if you use plain yogurt instead of buttermilk. The taste will be somewhat different. Experiment and see what you prefer.

For 4 servings:

1/2 pound waxy potatoes, cut into 3/8 inch dice
1 cup water
pinch saffron threads
3/4 pounds swiss chard, stalks and leaves, shredded
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 clove garlic, grated
5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup herbs (tarragon, chives, dill, parsley)
olive oil or vegetable oil
1/2 cup crème fraîche


Preheat the broiler to 500 F.

1. In a large pot, put the potatoes, water and saffron and bring to boil. Cover and simmer for 4 minutes, then add the swiss chard, salt and pepper. Continue to cook, covered, for about 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Remove from heat and drain the excess water if any, add the lemon juice and the garlic. Set aside.
2. In a bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, fresh herbs, salt and pepper.
3. In an 8 inch non-stick skillet with a heat-resistant handle over medium-low heat, add one ladle of the egg mixture and cook until almost set. Transfer the skillet to the hot oven and broil for no more than 30 seconds. Put the finished frittata on paper towels and continue making the others in the same way.
4. To assemble, spread some crème fraîche on one half of the frittata, cover with the chard and potato mixture, fold in half, then again ”to get a fan shape”. Arrange the frittate in an oven-proof dish and reheat gently in a 325 F oven just before you are ready to eat them.

Chard and saffron frittata

3 replies »

  1. Oh, I love Ottolenghi, and I’ve made so many of the recipes from Plenty! Not this one though. Thank you for the piece of advice about putting the frittata in the oven instead of failing to turn it over, I will definitely keep that in mind when I decide to make it!


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