A flavorful frittata recipe for brunch or dinner: Broccoli Rabe Frittata with Pesto Ricotta is full of veggies, a bit of ricotta and Parmesan and comes together with ease. It makes delicious leftovers and is such picnic delight! This recipe is vegetarian and gluten free.
A Spring Frittata for Celebrating
The sun is finally making a strong showing here in the Pacific Northwest in the form of warmer temperatures, and longer days.
The farmers markets are open again so fresh veggies are ready for culinary creativity, and to prepare that extra special meal for holiday weekends like for Mother’s day. This easy frittata is a delight too anytime you’re craving a hearty eggy dish. Share it along side a big salad and crusty sourdough to complete the meal.
How to Make Broccoli Rabe Frittata with Pesto Ricotta
I love the simplicity and ease of a Frittata. It is a versatile recipe that can stand in for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner and it makes delicious leftovers. While there are a few steps in this healthy frittata recipe, it comes together quick. Here’s how to make it:
- First, whip up the Pesto-Spinach Whipped Ricotta in a food processor.
- Then, saute the onions and blanch the broccoli. Chop the broccoli and set aside.
- Next, whip up the eggs and the ricotta mixture. Layer the blanched broccoli in the pan, then pour in the egg mixture.
- Bake and it’s ready to share.
That whipped ricotta dip I shared a few weeks back is so good, I incorporated it into a frittata! Broccoli Rabe Frittata with Pesto Ricotta (isn’t that fun to say?) is truly a farm to table frittata with Rose Hip and Prairie Bottom farms having provided almost all the ingredients in this healthy frittata. I’m anticipating rhubarb this week too – I can hardly wait!
A Few Recipe Tips
- Prepare the Pesto Ricotta ahead of time. It’s easy to whip up in the food processor and can also be used as a dip or spread. Store it in the fridge for up to three days or freeze for up to a month. It infuses this healthy frittata with so much flavor!
- New to broccoli rabe? It’s generally used in Italian, Chinese, and Portuguese cooking. It can be slightly bitter although some I’ve cooked with are on the sweeter side. Blanching helps quell those bitter notes. Broccoli rabe is a member of the Brassicaceae family, have beautiful leafy greens with buds similar to broccoli that produce yellow edible flowers. Here in the Pacific Northwest, it’s available in the spring, late summer and fall.
- Broccoli Rabe Substitute: If broccoli rabe isn’t available, broccolini is a good sub in this recipe and can be blanched/cooked the same way. .
- Parmesan Cheese: Look for vegetarian friendly Parmesan cheese (one that does not use rennet in production). BelGioioso vegetarian Parm can be hard to find, but Organic Valley is more widely available. For more information, check with your preferred cheese maker.
Broccoli Rabe Frittata with Pesto Ricotta Recipe
- 3 Tbs Extra Virgin Olive Oil or unrefined coconut oil
- 2 C (300g) Yellow Onion about 1 large onion cut into 1/2 moons
- 1 (215g) Bunch of Broccoli Rabe or sub broccolini
- 9 Eggs large
- 3/4 C (200g) Pesto-Spinach Whipped Ricotta *see note
- 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- 1/4 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
- 1/4 tsp Crushed Pepper Flakes
- 2 tsp Fresh Garlic minced, about two large cloves
- 3 Tbs Grated Parmesan Cheese see note** + more for serving
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C) and set oven rack in the center.
- In a 10" (25cm) oven proof skillet (I use cast iron), heat the olive oil until shimmering. Turn heat down to low and add the onions. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally for about 15 minutes, or until tender and slightly darker in color. While the onions are cooking, fill a medium stock pot 1/2 full with water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the broccoli rabe or broccolini and blanch for 3 minutes. Drain and run cold water over the broccoli. Trim ends, then cut into about 2" (5cm) lengths, reserving 2-3 full stalks to add to the top for a pretty presentation (optional). Set aside.
- Crack the eggs into a medium mixing bowl, add the pesto-spinach whipped ricotta, salt, pepper, and pepper flakes. Using a whisk, whip the egg mixture until the ingredients are distributed and come together. Set aside.
- Once the onions are tender, add the cut broccoli, and garlic and push the ingredients around in the pan to evenly distribute them. Pour the egg mixture evenly over the top and shake the pan to fill in any gaps. Do not stir. Arrange the full stalks on the top (if using), just laying on the top and gently nudging into the egg mixture. Cook on the stove top for 5 minutes on medium low. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese** over the top and slide into the oven. Bake for 13-15 minutes until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean and the top is slightly golden.
- Slide a knife around the edge of the frittata and cut individual pieces. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freeze for up to a month.
So glad to hear that your swimmer’s ear is ok now!
The broccoli rabe is stunningly beautiful! I love this frittata because it is fresh, and creamy and it can be eaten for any meal!! Beautiful seasonal ingredients and the whipped pesto ricotta sounds divine! So many uses for it :)
So sorry to hear about swimmers ear. That happened to me before and I know very well that it was not fun at all. Though I am happy to hear that you are recovering.
I see broccoli rabe in the store all the time, but never know what to make with it so I really never buy it. Thanks to you, now I have a great recipe to try my hand at cooking with this healthy vegetable.
PS: YAYYYY! for spring. :)
Yayyy for spring! Indeed! Swimmers ear is done! Hooray! Okay – now you know what to do with Broccoli Rabe and it’s especially delicious blanched then shoved into a grilled cheeeeeese! Oh my! xo
Adding your pesto ricotta to this savory pie is brilliant Traci. It does make it extra special! In your signature fashion, it also looks gorgeous and how fun is it to source from the spring greens. I hope you’re feeling better – (ears are so closely linked to balance and can really make us feel off when things aren’t right) hope you enjoyed the swimming though :) x
Tessa | Salted Plains
Such a wonderful spring dish!! Our farmers markets just opened as well and I have yet ot go. Can’t wait! I love the flavors here, Traci, and how it suits any meal of the day!
Laura | Tutti Dolci
This is gorgeous, Traci! Such a perfect spring frittata! :)
Thank you Laura!
Hot days are coming and this is perfect one to make ! Keeper ! Thank you !
Hooray! Thank you!
Geraldine | Green Valley Kitchen
The whipped pesto takes this frittata to the next level, Traci! So good! I don’t eat a lot of broccoli rabe but I love slightly bitter so I need to start looking for it at the farmer’s market. Have you tried Chinese broccoli, also called gai lan, it’s really good. Hope the swimmer’s ear is all gone – that’s a bummer. Have a great week!
I’ve not tried Chinese broccoli… I’ll have to keep my eye out for it. I love trying new to me veggies – thank you, G! Simmers ear is still going on but it’s slowly diminishing – sheesh!
That bunch of broccoli rabe is stunning! I’ve never thought to put it in a quiche before, though I have mixed various verstions of pesto into quiches. This combination sounds (and looks) delicious. Love your presentation, as always! My son and I are big quiche eaters so we will definitely be checking this out. Sorry to hear you came back from vacation with swimmer’s ear. Glad you are on the mend!
Thank you so much Jean… I love broccoli and eggs together… the crunch with the creamy just fits! I hope you and your son enjoy the recipe – and this would be fabulous in a quiche too!
Karen @ Seasonal Cravings
I wish I could treat my mom to this tomorrow but we won’t be together this Mother’s Day. My daughter always gets swimmer’s ear and it really hurts! Glad you are better!
Oh no… so sorry to hear your daughter experiences this, Karen. It is SO uncomfortable. I can’t remember the last time I took so much Advil :/ .
Liz @ Floating Kitchen
Oh no swimmer’s ear! Isn’t that the worst? Glad you’re on the mend. And yes, both frittata and ricotta are fun words to say. Lol. Love the photos of the frilly greens. So Springy!
Right? No fun… but then there’s frittata!
This look gorgeous Traci! I make a pastas with some pesto and ricotta which is so tasty, so I can only imagine how good the pesto ricotta in this dish must be!
Thank you Jess! Pasta with pesto and ricotta?! OMGee I gotta give it a go!
Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
I would enjoy this frittata for any meal of the day Traci! And so would Tom. That pesto spinach whipped ricotta sounds fantastic. I love having my girlfriends over for lunch at the beach during the summer, and this would be perfect! So glad your swimmer’s ear is feeling better! Happy weekend!
What a sweet summer lunch for your girlfriends… sounds dreamy, Mary Ann! Hope you had a fabulous weekend!