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November 07 2015

Winter Squash, Leek and Chard Frittata

By Worker Bee
7 Comments

Frittata 1A frittata is the perfect meal any time of day, cold or hot, eaten with a knife and fork or with your hands. It’s the type of dish a person is tempted to use as a receptacle for leftovers, throwing in bits of meat and cooked vegetables, wilted herbs and an old knob of cheese. It’s hard to go wrong with a frittata, but if you want to go really, really right, this is the recipe.

The sweet and earthy flavors of winter squash, leeks and Swiss chard swirl together here in a frittata with a creamy, custard-like texture. The secret to the heavenly texture is full-fat dairy; without it, frittatas often have the texture of a kitchen sponge. Dairy isn’t for everyone, but if you tolerate dairy well, then there’s no reason to abstain. Full-fat dairy has more than just rich, delicious flavor to offer.

In this frittata recipe, crème fraiche adds amazing flavor and texture, although the same amount of yogurt, cream, or grated cheese can be substituted. And if this frittata has too many veggies for you and not enough meat, then go ahead and add some prosciutto or cooked bacon. You won’t be sorry.

Servings: 4 to 6

Time in the Kitchen: 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients:

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn or butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter (15 ml)
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary (10 ml)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (or butter) (15 ml)
  • 1 leek, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 3 large Swiss chard leaves, cut into thin strips (thick stems discarded)
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 cup crème fraiche (115 g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (1.2 ml)
  • Salt and Pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 400 °F/204 °C.

Slice the squash in half lengthwise, from tip to stem. Scoop out the seeds and stringy middle. Cut each half into wedges that are ¾-inch to 1-inch (19 mm to 2.5 cm) thick. In a large bowl, pour melted butter over the wedges and sprinkle with rosemary. Toss to coat.

Spread squash out on a baking sheet. Roast, turning once, until both sides are browned and the flesh is tender, 30 to 40 minutes. When the squash is cool enough to handle, remove the skin and cut the flesh into ½-inch/13 mm cubes.

Acorn Squash

Turn the oven heat down to 350 °F/177 °C.

Heat the olive oil (or butter) over medium heat in a 10-inch/25 cm ovenproof skillet (ideally, well-seasoned cast iron). Add the leek and cook until softened but not browning, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the Swiss chard. Cook, stirring often, until completely wilted and all moisture evaporates, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the squash. Season with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, whisk eggs, crème fraiche and nutmeg together. Pour into the 10-inch ovenproof skillet. Stir gently to make sure the vegetables are evenly distributed, the let the frittata cook undisturbed for 2 minutes.

Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the middle is no longer runny but is still soft and just barely set. Cast iron retains a lot of heat and will keep cooking the egg once it’s out of the oven, so it’s a good idea to take the frittata out before it looks completely done.

Frittata 2

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7 thoughts on “Winter Squash, Leek and Chard Frittata”

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  1. I love making – and eating – frittatas! But for me, part of the charm of a frittata is its ease of preparation. I never spend this kind of time on a frittata!

    My idea of a frittata is to chop some onions and garlic (garlic infuses into eggs deliciously!), chop up some bacon if I have it, and maybe some red or green pepper, or mushrooms (if they are in the fridge), sauté these, and then throw in something more substantial such as chunks of baked potato (sweet or white), some squash, etc. – whatever you have around that will blend well into your stir-fry (or fry-up). I always add greens, for color, flavor, and health.

    When everything is cooked or hot, season it, then grate some cheese in, pour in enough beaten eggs to cover it, mix it a bit, and cover the pan and turn off the heat. Wait 10 minutes, and uncover your frittata. Great and as variable as the season or the day! Have a mushroom, leek, and bacon frittata! A shrimp, tomato and cream cheese frittata! A ham and sauerkraut frittata! Use your imagination!

    And enjoy!

  2. I really like winter squash. I have been finding cheap local organic squash at all the groceries because it is in season. Got a beautiful organic butternut yesterday for $0.99 a pound!

    An easy easy easy recipe for carnival or acorn squash is to cut it in half. If you start with the stem at the top and cut vertically down it works out the best because the 2 pieces are symmetrical.

    Scoop out the seeds and membrane holding them. Then put put them in a baking pan with 2 cups of hot water, skin side up. Salting the water before baking works well. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 40 minutes. Take them out of the water, turn them up so the cooked flesh is exposed, and drop some butter in the cavity. Voila! and delicious too.

    You can also microwave a handful of fresh cranberries for about 20 seconds and drop them in the cavity, with or without a couple of teaspoons of maple syrup.

  3. Looks good. One question about the acorn squash, though, is it only the black skinned ones where you can eat the skin? I have been hit and miss on those lately.

  4. I made this frittata but had to make some changes because I did not have all the ingredients. I substituted the squash with half a large yam I had cooked, sliced and browned in butter (skin on) in a fry pan. I layered the bottom of a coconut oiled cast iron dutch oven, then sauteed some chopped thinly sliced ham, added a little water, some dried onion flakes (no leek on hand), swiss chard, ground dried rosemary, s & p and cooked until wilted and onions moist. I spread that on top of the yam slices and covered the whole thing with the eggs mixture as the recipe. I cheated again and sprinkled grated Romano cheese over the top and some paprika for colour. Baked it for 20 minutes until barely golden. It is was one of the MOST DELICIOUS THINGS I HAVE EVER EATEN in my life (hot or cold)! I do thank you, thank you, thank you. This will be a staple for me with variations to a theme! The sweetness of the squash (yam) and the rosemary really make this a flavourful winning recipe!

  5. Oh emm gee. Made this today and I’m never cooking baked eggs without full fat dairy again. Never, I tell you!