Kale Frittate with Tomato and Basil from the AICR Test Kitchen


The American Institute for Cancer Research is devoted to providing the public with evidence-based information to help them make the best lifestyle choices to lower their risk of developing many types of cancer. One way they do this is through diet and nutrition by offering weekly recipes from their test kitchen that are both delicious and nutritious. This week is a kale frittate with tomato and basil.

This wonderfully versatile frittata is basically Italy’s version of an omelet. For Italians, making frittatas is a tasty way to enjoy vegetables that are in season and use leftovers. In March one of the nutritional powerhouses that is fresh and plentiful is kale – and this recipe enables you to enjoy it in an unusual way.

Kale, which has been cultivated for over two millennia, was the most widely eaten green vegetable in Europe until the Middle Ages, when cabbage became more popular. It was particularly prominent in cold climates due to its hardiness. In Scotland kail was so plentiful it was even a generic term for dinner. For this recipe baby kale works well, but you can just as easily use the regular variety if it is chopped into small bite-size pieces and cooked properly.

After the kale and onion are softened it is important to turn the heat down to medium to medium-low to ensure that the eggs cook slowly to maintain a moist quality. Some chefs stir all the Parmesan cheese into the egg mixture, but this recipe calls for some to be sprinkled on top allowing for it to brown lightly under the broiler to further accentuate its great taste. This easy to make frittata is finished in the oven, so you will need an ovenproof skillet.

Frittatas are a great way to eat your seasonal vegetables at breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Kale Frittata with Tomato and Basil

  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped kale
  • ½ cup finely chopped onion
  • 9 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, divided
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil or 1/2 tsp. dried basil, or to taste


In 9-inch or 10-inch iron, nonstick or regular, ovenproof skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. (If using a regular or cast iron skillet, make sure sides are coated with oil.) Sauté kale and onion until wilted, about 3 minutes.

In large bowl, whisk together eggs, half of cheese, salt and pepper.

Stir kale and onion into egg mixture and then return egg mixture to skillet. Sprinkle in tomatoes, basil and remaining cheese. Turn heat down to medium to medium-low and cook uncovered for 10-12 minutes or until frittata is just about set. While cooking, pre-heat broiler.

Remove skillet from burner and place under oven broiler until frittata top turns light golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove from broiler and let frittata rest a minute before cutting into wedges. Serve hot, cold or at room temperature.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 168 calories, 11 total fat (4 g saturated fat), 4 g carbohydrate, 12 g protein, <1 g dietary fiber, 289 mg sodium.

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