June 15th, 2011

Swiss Chard-Roast Potato Frittata


I love my cast iron skillet. Sturdy, even-tempered, versatile: it does all the saute and fry work you need on the stove top, ( incomparable for crusty country-fried chicken) and it does equally well in the oven ( key to crisp-edged jalapeno-cheddar cornbread).

Or, as in the case of this frittata, it can pull double duty, moving seamlessly from stovetop to oven. And then, as a serving vessel, right to the table.

All it asks in return is to be kept wiped clean and well-oiled.

Maggie found this one for me at an antique/junk shop. It was in excellent condition–balanced, right heft in the hand, no warps, flaws, or rust. Although it had been long out-of-use, it was already seasoned. It didn’t take much to clean it up, “reseason” it, and bring it back to life.

Well-cared for, it could last a lifetime. Or two.


Sometimes, it gets lost towards the bottom of my pots-and-pans drawer, a mammoth hodge-podge of stainless steel, enamel, and glass. And I forget to use it!

But, I’ve put my trusty cast iron to work for today’s recipe: a frittata, versatile as the skillet in which it’s cooked.

For our brunch, I used swiss chard, green onions, and basil, all fresh-picked from my front yard garden. I wanted to include roasted potatoes, and thought they would make a tasty crust-like base for the dish.


It’s a simple plan. While your potato slices are roasting brown and chippy in the oven, you saute the chard and onions, and whip up your eggs. Once the chard is ready, you’ll line the bottom of the skillet with the potatoes, and layer the savory greens on top.


Pour the beaten eggs and scatter the caramel, nutlike gruyere shreds over the mixture. Begin cooking the frittata on the stovetop, but you’ll finish it off it the oven. In the time that the frittata sets, you can put together a zippy basil-green onion gremolata.


The Gremolata? It came almost as an afterthought. I had picked a few too many basil leaves, and had a couple of extra green onions sitting out on the counter. I had a lemon out for iced tea. All the ingredients were staring me in the face–waiting.

I didn’t want to make a full-blown pesto—just a bright, extra flash of flavor for our dish. With their combination of sweet herby greens and lemon zest, gremolatas accomplish that easily. You can imagine its versatility, too. (grilled fish, baked chicken, pasta, potatoes..)

When it comes to any style of eggs, Bill tends to be a ketchup guy. But, he was able to set aside his love of Heinz for the bright change-up that this brings.


1 large or 2 med. Baking Potatoes
Olive Oil
1 bundle Swiss Chard, washed and chopped–stems and leaves separately
a few fresh Basil leaves, chopped
1 small Onion, diced
a shake of Red Pepper Flakes
6 Eggs
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere Cheese
Sea Salt
a few grindings of Black Pepper

9″ cast iron skillet (or one that can also go into the oven)

Slice potatoes thin. Brush with olive oil and lay out on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place into a preheated 375 degree oven and roast until slices are browned–about 12-15 minutes.

On medium heat, warm olive oil in your cast iron skillet, and saute chard stems and onions together, about 7 minutes. Stir in chard and basil leaves. Season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Saute another 2-3 minutes, until leaves collapse. Remove from skillet and place into a work bowl.

Potato slices should be brown. Remove from oven and arrange slices on the bottom of the cast iron skillet. (Keep oven on, however.) Spoon cooked chard over the potato layer.

Beat eggs well with a little salt and pepper. Pour over chard and potatoes in the skillet. Top with grated cheese.

Cook the frittata covered on the stovetop until almost set—edges will be slightly brown but the center a little wiggly–tis takes about 8 minutes.

Finish the frittata in the oven–another 5 minutes or so. The egg mixture will be set, and the cheese will be browned and bubbly.

Serves 4-6



1/2 cup Basil Leaves rough chopped
2 Green Onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T. fresh Lemon Juice, plus 1 t. zest
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mound the chopped basil and green onions together on a cutting board, and cut them up together–just a few chops. Put into a mixing bowl and add olive oil, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper. Stir well. Allow the flavors to develop and taste for acid and salt. Spoon over sliced frittata.


Posted in Breakfast, Egg/Cheese Dishes, Gluten Free, Recipes, Vegetarian Dishes

28 Responses to “Swiss Chard-Roast Potato Frittata”
  1. Molly Says:

    Ooh, a basil gremolata. I love the sound of that! My husband swears by his cast-iron skillet as well. I think, if given the opportunity, he would be buried with it when the time comes.

  2. Nicole Says:

    What a beautiful frittata! I made one on Sunday using my dad’s ANCIENT cast iron skillet, and I’m really tempted to buy myself one, although brand new I’m afraid it won’t be quite the same. Maybe I’ll have to scour the yard sales.
    The gremolata sounds like a divine finishing touch!

  3. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    Looks superb, Nancy. You never disappoint. Your Swiss chard from the garden looks especially lovely.

  4. Kath Says:

    Oh Nancy this looks so very good and I am so very jealous of your swiss chard!

  5. heather Says:

    Wonderful! Thank you Nancy, I have guests this next week and this is on the list.

  6. Michele | Cooking At Home Says:

    Your basil gremolata is the perfect touch to make this lovely dish sing.

  7. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Molly-the basil-green onion gremolata is so good and easy.

    Nichole–the new skillets are fine, but they do need to be seasoned before you can use them. With luck, you’ll find a good used one, like Maggie did for me. I bet your dad’s “ancient” one is awesome.

    Denise–many thanks :)

    Kath–it took a long time for the chard to germinate, and then take off. we are really enjoying it now. yours, I’ll bet, is soon to come.

    heather–let me know how it works out. and let me know when you’ll be stateside!

    Michele–thank you–the gremolata really did make it sing!

  8. Barbara Says:

    I take good care of my cast iron skillets too. There are certain things that only taste perfect when made in one!

    Lucky you with all those wonderful veggies coming right from your garden into that delicious frittata! The gremolata topping is the perfect touch, Nancy.

  9. Maggie Says:

    Nance, I’m so glad the skillet is serving you well! And this sounds yummy, too! Nothing like fresh produce – and knowing how to make it special!

  10. gigi Says:


  11. John Says:

    This is on my list for this weekend; it looks great and we have been getting very nice chard lately. Cathy and I bought our cast iron skillet in 1980 and is’s used often.


  12. Fluffy Says:

    great looking skillet, well-seasoned—well-filled. love the gremolata!

  13. Teresa/foodonfifth.com Says:

    Nancy, I love this “ode to the iron skillet”. I have my great grandmother’s iron skillet. Somehow I have kept it with me through all my “nine lives” and it is one of my prized cooking utensils. On the back of this well-seasoned skillet stamped into the metal when it was made it says “The Best To Cook In” which I love. Oh yeah, great frittata recipe as well.

  14. Nancy Says:

    I am a cast iron girl, too; it’s always the first skillet I reach for. Added benefit – the upper body workout! Your frittata looks amazing, genius touches with the pre-roasting of the potato slices and that zingy basil gremolata.

  15. Shu Han Says:

    That looks simply gorgeous! My idea of a perfect breakfast/lunch. A frittata is one thing I have yet to be able to try with eggs, simply because I don’t have an oven-safe frying pan too. i would love a cast iron skillet like yours too, but they’re so expensive ): for now, i just have to be satisfied with egg dishes that either start and end on the stove, or start and end in the oven like quiches.


  16. Jessica Says:

    This sounds great! I recently got some Himalayan pink salt and organic peppercorns from Sustainable Sourcing https://secure.sustainablesourcing.com and I’ll have to try them out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  17. John Says:

    Is there a particular reason for cooking the potatoes in the oven as opposed to cooking them in the cast iron on top of the stove the way we made the Spanish omlet last summer?


  18. Faith Says:

    You’re so right about a cast-iron skillet…they’re so useful for so many things, especially dishes that need to go from stovetop, to oven, to tabletop! This looks like a really delicious frittata and so healthy!

  19. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Unlike the Spanish Tortilla we made last summer, this one has less potatoes, (and More eggs) I wanted a crustier potato base for the frittata. So while I was cooking the chard mixture, I roasted the potato “chips”, and then layered them onto the bottom of the cast iron skillet for the frittata.

  20. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    it looks so rich and delicious. All those flavors mixed together. Love that you used chard instead of spinach like most people. A different twist on a frittata and one I LOVE!

  21. Karen Says:

    Scrumptious! As a big fan of vegetables, I always love how you use seasonal veggies in your recipes and turn them into something delicious. Speaking of which, that’s a beautiful harvest! And your antique cast iron skillet is just the best find. :-)

  22. Anna Johnston Says:

    Love a good frittata, made one this week for a quick evening meal., but wish I had these ingredients on hand Nancy, the basil gremolata in particular sounds right up my street :)

  23. FOODESSA Says:

    That cast iron skillet was fortunate to be handed to the right chef…one that appreciates great qualities and tools to make memorable meals.
    Love the Basil gremolata idea…I’ll be adding it to my frittata next time ;o)

    Have a wonderful week Nancy.

    Flavourful wishes,

  24. Shilpa Says:

    I am so glad I stumbled across your blog. I never know what to with swiss chard (it is meant to be brilliant for you too!) and you have amazing ideas..Will have to include it in my frittata next time…I suppose will work like spinach…Thanks for sharing.


  25. Juliana Says:

    Nancy, your fritatta looks delicious, love the idea of chard and the Gruyere cheese. Nice twist by adding the basil gremolata.
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead :-)

  26. Malinda Says:


    I inherited my mom’s cast iron skillets and want to keep them in the great shape they currently are in. Do you have a favorite way to reseason a skillet when it needs a bit of help? Looking forward to trying your frittata. Thank you for sharing the recipe.

  27. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Malinda–
    I use a neutral vegetable oil, like Canola oil, to season my skillet. I’ll wipe it clean, pour enough oil to coat the bottom and sides, and place it in a preheated 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or so. Essentially, the cast iron is absorbing the oil into its surface, which becomes non-stick with good seasoning.

    After removing it from the oven, I’ll wipe out any excess oil. The skillet will be ready to go.

  28. kristy Says:

    Nancy, your fritata sounds amazing! Looks really mouthwatering as well. thanks for sharing.
    Hope you’re having a great day.

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