Roasted Kale Frittata with Tomato and Feta Cheese

It seems to me that frittatas sort of fly under the radar when it comes to talking about, thinking about, or enjoying delicious food. I’m just always amazed at how delicious and endlessly versatile they are. Think about it, there are limitless ways to prepare them which means you can customize combinations to delight your own tastebuds. This morning, I had the luxury of getting out of bed pretty late and decided to fix something healthy, but not wimpy (I was feeling a little hungry). The kale I bought this week immediately came to mind, but I had never had it for breakfast.

A couple weeks ago, my dear friend Alison shared with me a roasted kale recipe she had while visiting her uncle and I’ve been dreaming of different ways to use it since. All you do is chop the fresh kale, toss it with a little kosher salt and olive oil, and roast it in the oven for about 20 minutes. Well, I can’t stop eating it, and this morning I thought to prepare it that very same way before adding it to the fritatta to soften that rough kale texture. It was perfect! It’s the most friendly and tasty way to incorporate kale into a dish that doesn’t require a lot of cooking time. You might be able to relate if you’ve ever tried to stir fry or saute the volumous leaves in a pan – it’s kind of messy until it starts to shrink.

So, here’s my little frittata combo – it was very good! Feel free to swap ingredients with you favorites.

Garlic Girl’s Roast Kale and Potato Frittata with Tomato and Feta Cheese

Serves 2-3

Ingredients

4-5 eggs
1 bunch fresh kale, bulky stems removed, roughly chopped
1 medium white or red potato, peeled and cut in small cubes
1 tomato, sliced horizontally|
1/2 onion, chopped on thinly sliced
5 kalamata (or black) olives, chopped or sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
about 1 tablespoon olive oil
crumbled feta cheese as needed
kosher salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation

Heat oven to 375

In medium bowl, add kale and drizzle with a little olive oil and salt. Mix with your hands, rubbing the leaves thoroughly for about 45 seconds. Arrange on cookie sheet (preferrable a stone or heavy pan) and roast in oven for about 18 or so minutes until a tiny bit crispy. Take a bite to see if you like the texture. Set aside.

In medium fry pan, saute potatoes on medium/low heat in a little olive oil for about 10 minutes. While cooking, in a small bowl, beat the eggs with a little salt and pepper and set aside. Continue cooking the potatoes, add the onions, salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are soft and the potatoes are tender. Add the garlic and cook another minute or two, making sure to not brown the garlic.

Turn the broiler on (500 degrees) and place rack on top rung, close to heat. Arrange a handful or more of kale in the pan with the potatoes and pour the egg mixture over everything, turning the pan to make sure the eggs evenly cover the vegetables. You should still see the kale sticking out a bit. Sprinkle the olives on top.

Leave on stove and contine to cook for a couple minutes until the egg starts to take form. Tilt the pan to distribute any loose egg to the edges for even cooking. To finish cooking, place pan under broiler for a minute or so, until the egg is cooked completely. Remove from broiler and arrange sliced tomatoes on the top and sprinkle with feta cheese.

Serving Suggestion:

The best way to eat a frittata is right out of the pan! Serve it with your favorite toast or bagel, a dollop of sour cream or plain greek yogurt and a little salsa. Fritattas are still delicious the next day after they’ve been refrigerated.

Garlic Girl’s Italian Wedding Soup with Quinoa


I know what you’re thinking: Quinoa doesn’t traditionally belong in Italian Wedding Soup! And you’d be right, but I’m so happy I went beyond tradition and replaced the more traditional pastina with quinoa. Not only did it up the nutrient content, but it created a deliciously flavorful soup with a wonderful consistency. 

My memories of enjoying wedding Soup as a child are clouded because my Auntie Vicky used to make the most delicious Italian meatball soup, but she never called it wedding soup. I know my mom made a similar version, but again, I don’t recall her ever calling it anything but Italian meatball soup. Whatever it was, it was amazing with it’s savory taste, mini tasty meatballs mixed with greens and pastina (mini pasta).

Because it was one of my favorite food memories I’ve made it throughout the years, and not surprisingly, also never called it wedding soup – until now! Wedding soup is simply the ”marriage” of the flavors of the meat with the greens that form a wonderful union! So don’t get stuck on the idea that there’s only one authentic wedding soup recipe, or that you have to be Italian – or even at a wedding to enjoy! Some versions include egg, some combine chicken and beef stock, some use escarole (which I also love), some use veal meatballs, Italian sausage or pork and beef, etc. And now, starting right here, some include quinoa!!

I made this version using an idea that my favorite Lidia Bastianich used for the base that includes making a paste with fresh vegetables, and I’ll use that idea again and again for many soup bases to come. So here’s a “marriage” of my mom’s recipe, my Auntie Vicky’s recipe and a splash of Lidia. I hope you try it. And as with all soups, feel free to play with the ingredients.

Garlic Girl’s Italian Wedding Soup

Ingredients

For the stock
2 large beef soup bones (ask the butcher or find them in the frozen meat section). Femer bones are great because they have the most marrow.
1 large onion, peeled and halved
1 whole celery stalk, chopped in half (leaves included)
2 bay leaves
2 carrots (optional)
salt

Note: If you have a favorite beef stock recipe, feel free to use it!

Vegetable Paste for Soup
1 onion, halved and thinly sliced horizontally
3 zuchinni, cut in large pieces
1/4 extra virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, peeled
3 celery ribs, cut in large pieces
handful fresh basil leaves

Meatballs
1 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup half and half or milk
1 large egg
2 teaspoons dried parsley
Kosher salt to taste
ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder

Soup
1 or 2 medium onions, halved and then thinly sliced horizontally
1/8 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped
1-2 heads curly endive
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated

Prepare quinoa according to package instructions. It’s very similar to making brown rice if you’ve never made it. Once done, toss with a little butter and set aside until the soup is ready. (You can be making the soup while it’s cooking).

For the stock, fill large stock pot with water, add all stock ingredients and bring to a boil. Lower heat, partially cover and simmer for about 3 hours, skimming the top occasionally. Remove the bones and veggies and discard (the veggies will be almost gelatinous so you don’t want to use them for the soup). Pour stock through a strainer and set aside. You can absolutely make this ahead of time, even freeze it for when you’re ready to use it.

For the paste, in a food processor, combine all ingredients for paste (except the olive oil) and mince well. Now in a large heavy bottom pot, heat olive oil on medium, add the paste and cook for about 10 minutes, turning over repeatedly, until it’s a bit dry. Remove from heat and set aside.

For the meatballs, in a medium bowl, add the bread crumbs and half and half and let soak for about five or so minutes. Add the rest of the meatball ingredients and with your hands mix very well. Form little meatball (about the size of a large cherry) with your hands damp so the meat doesn’t stick to your hands.

Now the easy part: Pour about six quarts of the broth over the paste into the heavy bottom pan that you cooked it in and bring to boil. Use as much broth as you want as long as your pot won’t overflow after adding ingredients. Now add the meatballs, several at a time, and turn the heat down slightly if the boil is too heavy. After a few minutes the meatballs will be rising to the top – this means they are cooked.

At this point you can adjust the flavor of the soup if you need more salt. Now add the parsley, onions and the endive and simmer for about 20 minutes.

When ready to serve, place some quinoa at the bottom of an individual soup bowl, ladle out some of the veggies and meatballs, and then add some broth. Sprinkle a generous amount of the Pecorino cheese, garnish with some fresh parsley and you’re all set!

Serving Suggestion:

Let the slurping begin!
Enjoy!