Frittatas with fresh herbs or seasonal vegetables are a main-stay of our diet, and we often serve them on the weekend for a late breakfast or early brunch. In the summertime, we serve them with fresh tomatoes or roasted peppers and goat cheese; in the spring, we serve them packed with garden herbs or occasionally fresh English peas and pea tendrils. In the autumn and winter, hardy greens and potatoes fill our frittatas.
Like the dainty omelets rustic and overbearing cousins, frittatas are less fussy, decidedly easier to prepare and more robust and satisfying for hungry bellies. Of course, all that satisfaction comes at a cost; one good-sized frittata requires about a dozen eggs, providing about eight servings. Take care to use only the best quality eggs available to you – fresh from farms where hens are given free access to green pastures where they can peck at sprouts and bugs. Not only does this provide hens a better and more humane life, but it also increases the nutritive value of their eggs, meaning that your body is better nourished with one pastured egg than it is with three or even four eggs from conventionally raised hens. In essence, the eggs from a pasture-raised hen are simply more nutrient-dense than regular grocery store eggs.
Indeed, an egg from a pasture raised hen offers two-thirds more vitamin A, two times more omega-3 fatty acids, three times more vitamin E and seven times more beta carotene than a conventional egg; furthermore, that pastured egg also contains 1/3 less cholesterol and 1/4 less saturated fat than a conventionally raised egg1. Pastured eggs are also higher in vitamin B12 and folate than eggs from hens raised in confinement2. Moreover, pastured eggs are also less likely to be contaminated by salmonella than the eggs of hens raised in confinement, and the conventional method of raising egg-laying hens in cages is considered a strong risk factor for salmonella infection compared to outdoor, free-range and pasture-based methods3. It’s simple: healthier hens produce healthier eggs. Indeed, the effects of battery-cage-based production of eggs are so deleterious both for human health and animal welfare that the European Union has agreed to a complete ban on this method of egg production by 20124.
- 3 tbsp clarified butter
- 2 shallots (peeled and sliced thin)
- 1 bunch Swiss chard (stem removed and chopped coarsely)
- 4 small potatoes (about 1 lb, sliced thin)
- 1 dozen eggs
- 3 tbsp heavy cream (not ultrapasteurized)
- unrefined sea salt (to taste)
- black pepper (to taste)
- Melt three tablespoons clarified butter in a skillet over a medium flame. Toss peeled and thinly sliced shallots into the skillet and fry in butter until fragrant.
- Add coarsely chopped Swiss chard and thinly sliced potatoes into the skillet and continue to cook until the Swiss chard wilts and the potatoes are tender when pierced by a fork.
- Beat one dozen pastured eggs with three tablespoons heavy cream until the mixture becomes uniform. Season the eggs to your liking with salt and black pepper.
- Reduce the flame to medium-low then pour the beaten eggs and cream into the skillet, over the vegetables. Cook over medium-low until barely set, about six minutes or so.
- Place the frittata in your oven, under the broiler for about six minutes until it is cooked through.
- Serve warm.