Fontina, a cow’s milk cheese from northeastern Italy, has a delicate earthy flavor and semifirm texture. It also melts beautifully, making it a great choice for egg dishes and grilled cheese sandwiches. In this vegetarian frittata—perfect not only for breakfast, but also for a meatless dinner served with a salad—the cheese blends well with the salty olives and tender greens.
Fontina, Chard and Green Olive Frittata
1 bunch Swiss chard, about 1 1⁄2 lb. (750 g), tough stems removed
2 Tbs. half-and-half
1⁄3 cup (1 1⁄2 oz./45 g) shredded fontina cheese
1⁄4 cup (1 1⁄2 oz./45 g) pitted green olives, coarsely chopped
3⁄4 tsp. sea salt
1⁄2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
2 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbs. finely chopped yellow onion
1 clove garlic, minced
1⁄4 cup (1⁄3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the whole chard leaves and reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the greens are tender and the ribs are easily pierced with a fork, 12 to 15 minutes. Rinse under running cold water, squeeze dry and chop finely. Squeeze dry again.
In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, half-and-half, cheese, olives, salt and pepper just until blended. Stir in the chard.
In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, melt the butter with the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute longer. Pour in the egg mixture and reduce the heat to low. As the eggs begin to set, using a spatula, lift up the edges to allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath. Cook until the frittata is just firm around the edges and nearly set on top, 4 to 5 minutes. Invert a flat plate over the pan and, holding the pan and plate together, flip them. Lift off the pan, return it to the heat, and sprinkle half each of the parsley and thyme over the bottom. Slide the frittata, browned side up, into the pan and cook until lightly browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes longer. Remove from the heat and again invert the frittata onto the plate.
Sprinkle with the remaining herbs, cut into wedges and serve hot or warm. Serves 6 to 8.
Recipe adapted from Williams-Sonoma Cheese, by Georgeanne Brennan (Weldon Owen, 2010).