Wednesday, April 1

How to Make a Frittata Like My 100 -Year-Old Italian Grandmother

Just over a year ago, I wrote a post entitled, "How to Make a Frittata Like My 99 -Year-Old Italian Grandmother."

Today I'm writing a post entitled, "How to Make a Frittata Like My 100 -Year-Old Italian Grandmother." That's right. Last fall, Nan turned 100. My mom threw her an old-fashioned birthday party replete with party hats, balloons, and the most lovely rose covered pink and white cake you can imagine.

Swiss chard, potato, and parmesan frittata

As I have written here before, Nan was a wonderful cook; her food, a familiar host of Italian dishes, was always simple yet unforgettably delicious. Though I think of Nan throughout the year, I think of her even more frequently during the Lenten season (when many Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays). That's because she would always have freshly cooked frittatas waiting for my mom and me when we would visit her on Friday afternoons.

Since Nan lives in an Alzheimer's unit at a nursing home, I am not able to enjoy frittatas with her anymore, but I have inherited her love for making them. And, trust me, you don't have to celebrate Lent or be Italian to enjoy frittatas. Here's why:
  • Frittatas are incredibly easy and fast to make.
  • Frittatas are inexpensive and make great leftovers, especially in sandwiches.
  • Frittatas are endlessly versatile. Search your fridge, and toss in whatever vegetables, meats, and cheeses you like.
  • Frittatas are fun to say. Seriously. Come on. Just say it once, like Nan used to: Fri - taaaa-taa. See what I mean? It makes me smile every time.
Today's frittata is make with earthy Swiss chard, creamy red potatoes, and salty Parmesan cheese. It pairs well with a cup of soup or a salad for dinner and makes a great breakfast sandwich when heated up and tucked inside of a toasted English muffin.

Now here's hoping that next year I write a post entitled, ""How to Make a Frittata Like My 101-Year-Old Italian Grandmother."

frittata breakfast sandwich

Swiss Chard, Potato, and Parmesan Frittata

Makes 2 large or 4 small servings
Print recipe only here.

1 small red potato, diced
1 small bunch Swiss chard, chopped (about 2 1/2 cups)
1-2 teaspoons olive oil
1 shallot or small yellow onion
6 eggs (Egg Beaters or whites only are also fine)
1 tablespoon each fresh basil and parsley, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
A few dashes of salt
1/4 cup part skim shredded mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Par boil the potatoes by cooking them in a small pot of boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside. Par boil the Swiss chard for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Over medium-low heat, add olive oil to an 8-inch non-stick skillet. Add shallots and potatoes; saute until golden brown, about 5 min. Add Swiss chard and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a small bowl; add fresh basil, parsley, red pepper flakes, salt, mozzarella, and half the parmesan cheese and gently whisk until well combined. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. With a fork, gently move the egg mixture from side to side as it begins to cook to ensure that it cooks evenly. Do this until the eggs start to solidify and a crust begins to form around the edges. This takes about 5-8 minutes. Give the pan handle a jiggle, and when the eggs appear nearly set, remove the pan from the stove top.

Sprinkle the top of the frittata with remaining half of parmesan cheese and place under the broiler. Broil for 4-5 minutes, or until the top begins to puff up and turn golden brown. Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Once nicely browned, let cool for a couple of minutes before slicing. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Click here for more tips on how to make a frittata like my 100-year-old Italian grandmother.

You might also like these Italian dishes by Nan:

How to Make Italian Pizzelle Cookies in 5 Easy Steps

Italian Ricotta Pie with Pineapple

Italian Easter Rice Pie

Here are more vegetarian frittatas you might enjoy:

Spring Frittata with Peas, Leeks, and Zucchini at Ms. Adventures in Italy
Frittata with Lemon-Braised Green Beans at Lucullian Delights
Persian Herb Frittata (Kuku) at Treat a Week Recipes

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Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

It looks perfect! This English Muffin sandwich is to die for! Drool...



Julia said...

Amen! To writing next year's post about your 101 year old grandmother. What a blessing to have her and her wonderful culinary inspirations.

Sara, Ms Adventures in Italy said...

Wow, 100 years old. I hope I live to see that day as well. A frittata is definitely an easy thing to throw together, and because you HAVE to brown it, it's forgiving...not like an omelette.

Finla said...

Wow 100 year old naan.
My hubbies grandmother is 97 and i think she is more healthier than her kids or even me :-)
I have neve rmade frittate, these looks so yumm and it has to be delicious as this is the way they made .

Unknown said...

This looks so delicious! I just made my first fritatta a couple weeks ago and now find myself craving it!
I love the stories about your grandmother; my grandmother lived to be 93 and my memories of her are priceless!

debra said...

Sounds delicious. I recently made a fritatta for the first time. It was so easy and a great way to use up both leftovers and the 10-12 eggs per day that my chickens are now laying!

The JR said...

(Scratching my head)... see Swiss Chard in the title, but not in the recipe.

It looks and sounds great without it anyway.

Since we have laying hens too, we have plenty of eggs and need things to do with them.


sunita said...

I love fri-taaa-taas ;-)

Belated wishes to your 100 year old Italian grandmother...grandmas are really special, aren't they..such a sweet post :-)

Unknown said...

What a wonderful post :)

Snooky doodle said...

Wow 100 years. an applause for your nan. This post looks delicious. I love frittata so versatile and good :)

Karen said...

I've never made one of these; guess I'd better get with the program!

Susan @ SGCC said...

What a blessing to still have your Nan with you! Frittatas were my father's specialty. He was always in charge of making one for Good Friday dinner.

You post is timed perfectly. I was just thinking this morning about making a frittata for dinner. I was going to use asparagus, but you've sold me on Swiss chard.

veron said...

great recipe, sounds delicious! Good wishes to your Grandma!

Culinary Wannabe said...

Wow, 100 years! Those are some good genes! I love frittatas for dinner - so easy and satisfying.

brainella said...

I'm with the Japanese Redneck -- where is the swiss chard? :-)

Never made a frittata but it sounds good and easy.

Elyse said...

What a beautiful post about your Nan. She sounds wonderful, as does her frittata. I'm so glad you can whip up this yummy dish and have such wonderful memories come rushing back. This looks super yummy!

Lisa Turner said...

What a lovely post. I too enjoy frittatas, and your idea of serving it with the english muffin to make a sandwich is inspired indeed.

Kathy - Panini Happy said...

How fantastic! Both the delicious frittata (esp on toasted English muffin!) and your wonderful Nan. :-)

Anonymous said...

Two wonderful things going on here: your amazing grandmother, and this yummy veggie filled frittata. Thanks for sharing each of them with us.

Proud Italian Cook said...

You're so fortunate to have all those wonderful memories of your Nan. 100 years old! wow, bless her heart!

Treehouse Chef said...

This looks so good that I don't even had words to express how divine it looks. Thank you for sharing!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Here's to another year of frittatas and a happy birthday to Nan!

Heather said...

happy birthday to your nan!!! the fritatta sounds delicious!

Rita said...

Happy Birthay to Grandmma!!!!!
Is she appearing on the Smuckers jar??Hehehe, I like watching the Today show....

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

I'm already looking forward to next year's birthday/frittata post. Happy birthday to your grandmother!

The Italian Dish said...

How great is that - you grandmother is 100! My grandmother turned 99 last week and when I called her, she was raking leaves! Your frittata looks wonderful - I love swiss chard - and to put it in an English Muffin - brilliant!

Anonymous said...

You go, Grandma!!

Anonymous said...

I so love a good frittata, and it's such a perfect way to use up small amounts of leftover vegetables or herbs but the spouse doesn't eat eggs and can't stand the smell of them so a quick and simple frittata for dinner is out of the question.

That makes me sad. This recipe looks so delicious.

Abby said...

Yay for grandmothers! I miss mine terribly...

I've never thought of eating leftover frittata on a sandwich (or muffin). What a great idea!

Looks so good.

susan said...

it looks great, but the swiss chard isn't an ingredient. ??

Eve Fox said...

Yum! looks worthy of the really good (expensive) eggs from our CSA for sure.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

We'll chalk up your grandmothers longevity to preparing and eating delectable dishes like this. Italians do know how to eat!!

Nicole said...

Aren't grandmother's the best. How wonderful to have her still with you. And fritatas... breakfast, lunch or dinner are a wonderful meal.

Aparna Balasubramanian said...

This reminds me of my grandmother. She was a wonderful cook too, and she could whip up a tasty and satisfying meal for any number of people, with whatever was in the kitchen and not get stressed out about it!!

Eggs aren't my favourite but an omelette/ frittata full of vegetables on toast is something I enjoy occasionally.

Cynthia said...

Please pass on my best wishes to your Nan!

Wendy said...

Congratulations to your Grandmother! Hope she is happy and well. :)

Susan from Food Blogga said...

rosa-Wow! Thanks!

julie-That is so sweet of you to say.

sara-Seriously. Way easier than an omelette.

happycook-Healthier than you and the kids? hah! ;)

lynda-Memories are priceless.

debra-Aren't they great?

jredneck-whoops. It's in there now.

sunita-Thanks so much!

city girl- Thank you!

snooky-Clapping. :)

karen-Hop to it, my dear! ;)

susan-I wrote about asparagus last year. I love it in frittatas.

veron-Thanks, my dear!

cwannabe-Seriously. I hope my mom and I inherit them!

brainella-It's so easy.

elyse-Thank you for your kind words.

lisa-It's a nice change from cereal.

kathy-Oh, thank you!

louise-Thanks for the lovely comment.

marie-I appreciate that.

treehousechef-Thank you for your visit!



rita-No, unfortunately. :(

lydia-Thanks so much!

elaine-Raking leaves at 99? Good God! Now that woman has great genes. :)

maryann-Go, grandma! Go, grandma! ;)

kate-Even just egg whites?

abby-Thank you.

susan-It's there now.

eve-It is. Trust me.

val-They really do!

nicole-They are good any time of the day.

aparna-Why are grandmothers like that? It's amazing, isn't it?

cynthia-Will do!

wendy-Thank you.

bee said...

i have some smoked gouda and swiss chard. will make this over the weekend. thank you.

Donna-FFW said...

This looks absolutely perfect, looks like it just walked off a magazine page. Love the ingredients, must be sooo delicious!

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

100 years old? Wowee! I hope you give her some frittata and it will jog a little memory.

Great recipe. All of the things you expect from an Italian grandmother.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations to your grandmother - 100 years!

Whenever I come here you always entice me ... I'm going to make a version of this tomorrow for sure!

Ivy said...

Susan, I hope that your nonna lives many more years. The fritata sounds delicious and this time I have bookmarked it to make it soon.

Kalyn Denny said...

What a lovely post, and such a great memory to have of the times you spent with your mom and Grandmother. I hope to see many more posts like this! Best wishes to your entire family. I'm guessing they are justifiably proud of you!

Coffee and Vanilla said...

I always make frittatas but they are not so great like your grandmother own! :) I make them usually from with left over potatoes, I slice them and fry them on butter for a while, then I add eggs and rest of the ingredients.
Enjoy your weekend, Margot

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

I never make frittatas so this recipe is something of a revelation for me...

Enobytes said...

Thanks for sharing the Swiss Chard, Potato, and Parmesan Frittata! I can't wait to try it!

Jude said...

Thanks for sharing this wonderful, no doubt treasured, recipe. Another wonderful read :)

Joy @ Joy Of Desserts said...

Hurray on 100 years!! Both of my grandmothers made frittatas too. It is so nice to have these kinds of childhood culinary memories. I warmly invite you to participate in my new Vintage Recipe Thursday. Your Nan's recipes are just the type of recipes that we are trying to preserve to make sure they are not forgotten.
Joy Of Desserts

Lisa Johnson said...

A belated Happy 100th to your grandmother!! Amazing!!! ; )

Cris said...

A special lady with superb recipes... her recipe book must be a treasure to cherish forever...

Anonymous said...

Your so lucky to still have your
grandmother. My nana passed away on 12/23/08 and I miss her terribly, especially since it is Easter. My nana and mother always made our frittata with ricotta, provolone,basket cheese, ham, pepperoni and sometimes green pepper. We bake the frittata on a baking sheet and cut in squares. When I was little my mom always made the frittata on Good Friday and we would wait till after midnite to run to the kitchen to eat a piece.

Jeanne said...

How lucky you are to have such a wonderful culinary legacy from your gran - this certainly is an heirloom recipe :)