Potato & Kale Frittata
If I told you that there was a dish we’ve been eating almost once a week since, oh, December, you’d probably assume that I’d have already posted about it, yes? Sadly, no. I’ve been meaning to — honestly, I have! — but time has slipped away and here we are, almost April, and I’m just getting to it now.
It’s not a fancy dish. It is, however, homey, quick to prepare, inexpensive, supremely satisfying and very delicious. I started making it this past fall, when it became apparent that we were going to be receiving weekly batches of potatoes and onions in our winter CSA share, and I didn’t have a ton of room to keep storing the ever-expanding pile of them. Thursday evenings were our CSA share pick-up night, but they were also busy days for B and I, which meant that by the time we’d picked up the share, gotten home and unloaded it, I was looking for something quick to make that would taste great and be good for lunch the next day, too. As I saw that we’d be getting weekly potatoes and onions, I started making a Spanish-style tortilla — thinly sliced potatoes cooked in olive oil with thin slivers of onions, then bound together with eggs. Thick wedges of the tortilla were fantastic alongside some roasted root vegetables and some sauteed greens all throughout the winter.
Then, sometime in January when I really began craving greens, I began adding chopped kale to the potato and onion mixture, wilting it briefly before I added the beaten eggs and finished cooking the tortilla. I also started cutting the potatoes into chunks instead of thin slices. And, this is the version that’s stuck. Potatoes and kale are one of my favorite vegetable combinations; combined with the eggs and baked….well, you just can’t get much better than that. Thick wedges are fantastic warm or at room temperature (though since the weather’s been cold, warm has been the way to go.)
An authentic Spanish tortilla starts with a nonstick skillet coated with a generous amount of olive oil (this doesn’t really phase me, but if it does you, never fear — much of it is left in the skillet after the tortilla is done cooking). The potatoes and onions are cooked, then mixed into beaten eggs, and the whole thing is poured back into the skillet. It cooks on one side, then it’s flipped over to finish cooking on the other side in the same skillet, so both surfaces are browned. Most of the time I’m too lazy to do this part, so I just cook the egg mixture on the stovetop until it’s set around the edges and still a little runny in the middle, then finish it under the broiler. This nuance in cooking technique makes my version more like an Italian frittata than a tortilla.
I’ll actually be a little bit sad when the warmer weather rolls around, because I know my days of potatoes and kale together are drawing to a close until next fall…not that sad, though. I’m looking forward to warmer spring weather — just means I’ll relish our last few wedges.
Potato & Kale Frittata
extra-virgin olive oil
about 5 small or 4 medium potatoes, any variety will do, cut into roughly 3/4-inch cubes
1 large onion, halved pole-to-pole and cut into julienne strips (with the grain)
2 cups of kale, stalks removed and leaves torn into bite-size pieces
6-8 eggs (I prefer 8, but have gotten by just fine with 6 when I’ve had to)
freshly ground black pepper
Pour enough olive oil into a non-stick or cast-iron skillet (whatever you use, it should be ovenproof) so that it generously coats the bottom. Heat the olive oil over medium heat until it shimmers, then add the sliced onions and potato chunks. Cook over medium heat until the onions are golden brown and the potatoes are just cooked through when you pierce them with a fork. Add the chopped kale and cook just until the kale is wilted and bright green.
Turn off the heat and season the skillet generously with coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Taste a bit of the mixture; it should taste well-seasoned and delicious.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs. Pour them directly into the skillet, and smooth out the top a little with a spatula (I usually try to make sure the potatoes/onions/kale are fairly evenly distributed throughout the skillet.)
Turn the heat back on to medium, and cook the frittata until the edges are set but the middle is still somewhat runny. Place the pan under the broiler to finish cooking, just until the top is starting to brown a little and the eggs are set.
Remove the pan from the oven and let cool a minute or two before you slice it into wedges.
Serves 4 to 6.