Chard and Onion Torta


by: karen

This is a slightly more formal variation on that perfumed Provencal frittata, trouchia, one of my favorite dishes. Here the trouchia gets a crust of bread crumbs, which not only spares you the trouble of making a dough but also eliminates 1/2 cup of butter. To my eyes, this makes it much more acceptable to use light cream for the liquid, which provides a more memorable texture. For chard, I prefer silver-stemmed over red because of the tendency for the red veins to bleed. However, the flavor is fine and if that’s what you have, then use it. You might serve this with sautéed red peppers, simply cooked zucchini, or the chard stems cooked in olive oil. For wine, go with a Provencal rose or a Spanish rosado from Rioja; or, if you prefer a red, try a lighter-style Cotes-du-Rhone.


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serves: 4

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil, plus butter for the dish

2 slices bread, crusts removed, made into crumbs in a food processor

1 large onion, quartered and thinly sliced crosswise

2 pinches of saffron threads

1/4 cup slivered basil leaves

1 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped (or 2 pinches dried)

2 big bunches of chard (leaves sliced from the stems and chopped into 1-inch pieces)

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

2 cloves garlic smashed in a mortar with a pinch of salt

1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (plus a little for the top)

3 eggs

1 cup light cream, milk, or Mushroom Stock

Nutrition Facts
Chard and Onion Torta

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 363

  • Total Fat: 24.4 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 13 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 182.5 mg
  • Sodium: 606.1 mg
  • Total Carbs: 16.2 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 1.2 g
  •     Sugars: 4.7 g
  • Protein: 19.9 g

how is this calculated?

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1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter a baking dish, such as a 10-inch round terra-cotta gratin dish, then press the bread crumbs into it, covering the bottom and sides. Reserve any extra crumbs.

2.  Heat the 2 tablespoons butter in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, then crumble the saffron threads over it. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is very soft, about 15 minutes. lfit threatens to burn or crisp, add a little water or white wine to the pan.

3.  Add the basil, thyme, and chard to the softened onion and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook until the chard has wilted and is tender, stirring occasionally, about 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, taste for salt, and season with pepper. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in any extra bread crumbs. Add the cheeses, eggs, and cream.

4.  Pour the filling into the prepared dish, grate a little extra Parmesan over the top, and bake in the center of the oven until golden and nearly firm throughout, about 30 minutes. Poke a knife tip into the top to make sure the eggs are set. Let rest for several minutes before serving.

Cooks' note:
Both the chard and the onions cook at a gentle pace, so begin with them. This is when you can prep everything else and prepare your baking dish.

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