Saturday, April 3, 2010

The many faces of kale: frittata!

I am such a huge fan of kale. I feel like the gushing president of the kale fan club. To think I had no idea about this amazing, versatile green until very recently! Sure, I had chopped up some lacinto kale and added it to an Italian-flavored soup here, a roasted chipotle bean dish there. But had it played an essential role in any of my dishes until we joined the CSA and welcomed it into our home, week after week? No!! And boy, am I thankful we discovered kale!

Molly Wizenberg aka Orangette developed my favorite kale technique (the braised + lemon method from her spaghetti recipe featured in Bon Appetite - recipe here). I used that method for preparing kale in our fabulous breakfast pizza. Since I knew how much I loved Molly's kale treatment, I thought I would be equally gaga over her kale frittata recipe. And I was! I made a few tweaks, adding some potato and fresh oregano (yay, I snuck in the oregano from our box last week! It was still good.)

I used the Red Russian kale from my box for this recipe. It is not curly like your standard salad-bar kale, nor is it glossy and hammered like the long leaves of lacinto kale. Red Russian kale is smooth but its edges are wavy like an oak leaf. The kale is the green on the far left in this picture of my box contents from earlier this week:

We ate the frittata with toast. Our dog, Cooper, managed to steal my toast and, when reprimanded, dropped it jelly-side-down on our shag carpet. Sigh ...

Molly's original recipe is here.

Kale Frittata with Cheddar & Potato
Adapted from Molly Wizenberg
Note: I have always been afraid to use my pans, even the "oven proof" ones, under the broiler. Tonight I conquered my fear. I stuck it under and watched like a hawk - everything was fine, and this was much easier than flipping the frittata.

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 small red onion, chopped
1 bunch of kale (I used Red Russian - you can also use lacinto), cleaned well and chopped into 1/2 inch ribbons
5 large eggs
1/2 cup to 1 cup shredded white cheddar (to taste)
1/2 a leftover baked potato, sliced (can omit, or saute potatoes separately to add)
1 tablespoon fresh chopped oregano

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent. Add the chopped kale, sprinkle with salt, and stir until wilted. Cover the pan and turn the heat down to low; cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender. Remove from the heat and place the kale mixture into a separate bowl.

Preheat the broiler.

Beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Stir in the cheese, oregano, and S&P to taste. Add the kale mixture (make sure it isn't still really hot) and stir well to distribute all the components.

Add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil to the skillet and turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the sliced potato and cook until it is heated through and beginning to brown and get crispy on the outside. Make sure you have enough oil in the pan - if not, add another splash, or spray with non-stick cooking spray. Turn the heat down to low. Add the egg/cheese/kale mixture and tilt the pan to spread it around evenly. Cover and cook until the bottom is browning and the top is almost completely set but still a tad wet (this took me probably about 10 to 15 minutes - I turned the heat up to medium for a few minutes to facilitate cooking).

Pop the skillet (uncovered) under the broiler to finish cooking the frittata, about 2 minutes. Watch it like a hawk. It can bubble but don't let it burn! When the top is finished, pull it out and cut into wedges, using a spatula to help wiggle the pieces out of the skillet.

Serves two to three as a main course dish.

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