A flavorful, healthy frittata recipe for brunch or dinner: Broccoli Rabe Frittata with Pesto Ricotta is packed with veggies and comes together with ease. vegetarian + gluten free
Spring 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 spring veggies are ready for culinary creativity, and to prepare that extra special meal for Mother’s day weekend. Although I won’t be with my Ma, I’ll certainly be on the phone with her and will celebrate when we’re together again.
In the mean time, I’m nursing swimmers ear, I guess from all the swimming I did in Costa Rica a few weeks ago. It has really knocked me out! What is that? But, after a two-hour wait in urgent care and so many ear drops later, I can say I’m on the mend. Finally!
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.
How to Make Broccoli Rabe Frittata with Pesto Ricotta:
- 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 Pesto-Spinach 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 Notes:
- 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 popularly 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 and fall.
- If broccoli rabe isn’t available, broccolini is a good sub in this recipe and can be blanched/cooked the same way.
- This vegetarian frittata calls for grated parmesan. I DIY grated at home. It’s more economical, creates less waste and just tastes better than those in plastic containers. Cut a wedge of Parmesan into large chunks, reserving the rind. In the bowl of a food processor (use the S blade) or VitaMix, pulse the chunks until a finely grated, scraping the bowl down several time while processing. Store in a lidded container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Use the leftover rind soups or stews to infuse broth with umami flavor.
- 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. I found this comprehensive list that shows brands who produce vegetarian friendly parmesan cheese. For more information, check directly with your preferred cheese maker.
Sending my best to all moms. Your love and generosity make us better. Relish in this, your day to be recognized for all that you give.
Broccoli Rabe Frittata with Pesto Ricotta
A flavorful, healthy frittata recipe for brunch or dinner: Broccoli Rabe Frittata with Pesto Ricotta is packed with veggies and comes together with ease. Make the Pesto-Spinach Whipped Ricotta at least three days ahead for meal prep. vegetarian + gluten free
- 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.
*Pesto-Spinach Whipped Ricotta can be made in advance up to three days for storage in the refrigerator or up to a month if stored in the freezer.
**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. I found this comprehensive list that shows brands who produce vegetarian friendly parmesan cheese. For more information, check directly with your preferred cheese maker.
I DIY grated parm at home. It's more economical, creates less waste and just tastes better than those in plastic cans. Purchase a wedge Parmesan and cut it into large chunks. In the bowl of a food processor (use the S blade) or VitaMix, pulse the chunks until a finely grated. Store in a lidded container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. Use the leftover rind soups or stews to infuse broth with umami flavor, or steep in cream for sauces.