Here’s a recipe that initially was the result of a rigorous fridge clean-out and has come to be a fall staple in the Simple Bites kitchen.
This spotlights a few of the lesser-loved fall vegetables and marries them in a comforting dish built with refrigerator staples.
The frittata keeps for the better part of a week and is delicious enjoyed hot or cold for any meal of the day.
Are you convinced yet?
Hiking Fare to Lunchbox Love
In early October we planned one last camping trip for 2019, and in an attempt to use up everything in the crisper drawers before we left, I threw together an all-in-one frittata.
The inspiration came from Alison’s fantastic book, Modern Lunch – a fabulous resource for approachable and creative everyday fare.
With a base of eight eggs and a dash of milk, I added an entire head of sautéed rainbow chard, a few cooked sweet potatoes, a handful of herb stems and leaves , and all the cheese scraps I could find.
Everything worked really well together and the frittata sustained us for a morning of hiking and exploring along Nova Scotia’s rugged coastline. With no crust to get soggy, (as a quiche might) the frittata was just as delicious on the third day as it was right out of the oven.
Now I know not everyone is looking for the ideal hiking food, but this is the perfect grab-and-go breakfast, nourishing lunchbox fare or even a light dinner option.
A Trio of Fall Vegetables and How to Cook Them
My favourite spring frittata features ramps (wild garlic), asparagus and young arugula – all early produce that make an excellent pairing on the plate.
Similarly, this autumnal combination of swiss chard, leek and sweet potato can all be gathered from the same farm stand and prepared together.
Swiss chard is a vegetable that I love, especially that vibrantly coloured ‘Bright Lights’ rainbow chard, and this frittata is a great way to use up a whole bunch before it wilts in your refrigerator.
The middle rib on the chard is more fibrous than the delicate leaf, so be sure to cut it away, slice it crosswise and cook it first. For the leaves of the chard, I grab big bunches, roll them into a bundle and slice them into half-inch ribbons.
Winter leeks are one of my favourite ingredients as they are so versatile and impart a subtle flavour that is unmatchable. I can’t seem to resist them in the fall and they end up in everything from brunch to dinner.
One of my earliest posts here on Simple Bites, was to spotlight the humble leek and make sure you were cooking with it. That post will tell you all you need to know on cleaning and cooking leeks.
Here’s a few more recipes for leeks:
A few years ago I wrote a sweet potato recipe round-up. The lengthy list plainly showed that we have been crushing on this root vegetable for nearly a decade here on Simple Bites.
Get the recipes >> From Sides to Stews: A Sweet Potato Recipe Round-Up
: A Versatile Recipe
Just before we get onto the recipe, let me put in a word for zero-waste cooking and say that you can use what you have on hand for this recipe and it will still be delicious.
Swap out spinach or beet greens for the swiss chardUse winter squash for the sweet potatoSubstitute onions for the leekUse any milk or cream you have, including nut milks or buttermilkReplace the oregano with mild herbs such as dill, parsley or tarragonAny and all mild cheeses can be used in place of the cheddar. Try ricotta, Gouda, or Parmesan
Now, on to the recipe!
A simple and seasonal frittata that is delicious warm or cold and keeps very well for several days. Print Pin RateCourse: Main DishesCuisine: AmericanKeyword: Gluten-freeEssential Ingredient: Sweet PotatoPrep Time: 25 minutesCook Time: 25 minutesTotal Time: 50 minutesServings: 6 peopleIngredients1 Tablespoon olive oil2 Tablespoons unsalted butter divided1 lb sweet potato peeled and cubed, about 2 medium1 medium leek washed and drained1 bunch rainbow chard washed and drained, if required8 large eggs1/3 cup sour cream or milk or milk of choice1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tsp chopped fresh1 teaspoon fine sea salt1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese or cheese of choice, ricotta, Parm, etcInstructionsPreheat the oven to 375°F and place an oven rack in the top position. Cut a 10-inch round of parchment and line a pie plate or a 9-inch round casserole dish. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter together with the olive oil. Tumble in the cubed sweet potato and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, while you chop the leeks and chard.Remove the outer leaves of the leek, then cut in quarters lengthwise. Chop into 1/2 -inch pieces, cutting the leek crosswise. You should have about 1 1/2 cups (save the rest for another recipe or vegetable stock). Add the leek to the pan and sauté along with the sweet potato for 5 minutes. When the sweet potato is quite soft and the leek a nice bright green, scrape them both into the prepared pie pan.Chop the chard stems crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Roll up the leaves and slice them into ribbons. Return the skillet to the heat and add the remaining butter. Toss in the chard stems and cook for 2 minutes, then add the leaves and cook for a few more. Everything should be wilted. Add the cooked chard to the pie pan.Crack the eggs into a medium bowl. Whisk in the sour cream or milk, mustard, oregano, salt, nutmeg and black pepper. Pour the seasoned eggs over the vegetables in the pie pan. Top with grated cheese. Place the pan on the top rack of the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until slightly puffed and firm in the center. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly before slicing. Serve hot, warm or cold. Delicious with a side salad of kale.NotesThis versatile frittata keeps very well in the fridge and is delicious warm or cold.