The garden project: A kale frittata with added protein

When the organic gardening forums state that ants are a pest, but won’t actually ruin your garden and to leave the ants be, they lied.
Ants appeared on our roof garden plots in early May. People would sit at the edge of the garden beds and 10 minutes later jump up in alarm as the ants swarmed up from under the logs into their pants, up your back, down your skirt. Racing over your arms.
Armed with “organic gardening forum” knowledge, I’d say “ah. relax. they are just ants. they don’t actually hurt the garden.” The attackee, sometimes me, would relent, and sit, well, somewhere else. “They’re just ants. They don’t hurt the garden”.

I repeated my “they’re just ants” mantra even as I spread coffee grounds into the ant lair.

How this works: Ants are repelled by the scent given off by the grounds . Further searching revealed , coffee grounds are great for the garden! A soil amendment since the dawn of time, with caution that not all plants love the acidic soil, however here is the very handy garden chart of plants that are okay with an acidic soil ph between 4.0 and 6.8.
At this point, I felt very master gardener.

How this really works: This made the ants very mad. They moved from under the logs, into the chard.
Into the chamomile.
And proceeded to do what ants do in a garden: harvest hordes of aphids on the budding baby stems of all the lovingly grown-from-seed greens and flowers that looked so lovely in June.
Meanwhile, the marigolds (and supposed aphid repellants) watched on…

So, I shrugged, I was wrong about the ants.

Tonight, after work, on a leisurely trip up to the roof, tired, looking forward to dinner- I stepped onto the walkway cobblestones through to the kale plot, and snipped a few leaves. I looked closer.
Some kale had to be snipped-and immediately composted.
Because, there are white eggs all over the underleaves.

A google search of “eggs kale pest” yielded a lot of recipes for kale frittatas. Also what I was making for dinner.
What does this tell me?
1) my google web 2.0 profile indicates my search terms are 90% looking for recipes.
1 b.) I was not looking for a recipe.

Google ignored the aphids. As I picked through the really infested stuff and chucked it away;
Snipped the okay leaves and inspected them for dinner; set the okay leaves in a big bowl of water;
repeatedly, washed and dunked and soaked. I plotted a blog post,
and I came to a very new appreciation for farmers.

Here is tonight’s dinner, with perhaps, a bit more protein.

Caramelized onion & kale frittata

Caramelized onion & kale frittata

Ingredients for a 12″ pan:

  • Kale from the garden- washed, and washed and washed, from the garden.
  • 12 eggs
  • 1/4 C whole milk or cream
  • 2 onions
  • 1/4 C parmesan, or whatever cheese you have.
  • Butter
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt & pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Chili flakes


Wash your kale.

the rest is easy.
Caramelize some onions while the oven heats up to 400F.
This takes about 20 min.
Beat the eggs, cream, and cheese together.
When onions are done, move to a bowl, then saute garlic, chili flakes, and really well washed kale in the same pan. Cover until wilted, stirring occasionally. About 10 min.
Put kale in a bowl.
Add some butter to the pan.
Layer some pretty tomatoes, tart tatin style into the pan. Add the caramelized onions. Layer on the kale. Pour the egg mixture in, and pat down the really well washed kale with a spoon so the egg starts to cover the whole mixture.
Cook until the eggs start to slightly set, then put in the oven for 10-20 min until the eggs are set.
Flip onto a plate. The tomatoes make a really pretty presentation side on this frittata, and there is a really nice abundance of really, well washed kale, and a nice sweetness from the caramelized onions. This makes at least 8 portions, great for breakfast or lunch the next day.


3 Comments to “The garden project: A kale frittata with added protein”

  1. great story. this is tonight’s dinner at our place but we’re buying the Kale from
    a grocery

  2. Eh, what’s a little more protein in your frittata? I blogged in the fall about carefully escorting the caterpillars off the broccoli and leaving them, plus a leaf to get them started, on the kitchen stoop.
    How neat to put tomatoes on the bottom which becomes the top–that’s a clever trick.

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