Bacon, Fennel & Kale Frittata with Sweet Potato Crust

Friday, January 25, 2013

I don't know about you but I am getting hungry just looking at this bacon topped skillet full of deliciousness! My fascination with bacon and cast iron skillets led me to create this recipe. I wanted to revisit the frittata now that I had a better skillet to work with, so I went back to one of my first blog posts. I stuck to a similar technique, but lowered the cooking temperature, eliminated the milk, and used the potatoes to make a crust at the bottom of the skillet. The result was something that reminded me an awful lot like quiche, with none of the associated guilt involved with a buttery crust. As we have learned, frittatas are very similar to omelettes, however there is no flipping, folding or awkwardly sliding a broken pile of cooked eggs onto your plate and trying to cover it up with extra cheese. (I'm not the only one who does that, right?) In my house, breakfast isn't getting cooked unless it can be done without too much thinking. This is one of those dishes, and you'll want to learn how to make it your own.  Frittatas are an easy dish for brunches, lunches, last minute dinners and any other occasion that leaves you scratching your head figuring out what to cook. Most importantly, they are a perfect vehicle for crispy bacon. Can you really go wrong with that?

Before we jump into this recipe, I have a favor to ask of all my blog readers. You guys helped me to win the Black Weblog Award for Best Food Blog earlier this year and I couldn't have been happier - thank you! Well, I need your support again. The Shorty Awards recognize the best in social media, and I would love to pick up one of these babies in the #Food category! In the past year I've grown my social media presence from a modest #FoodPorn gallery on Facebook to a successful food blog, interactive Twitter experience and blossoming Instagram account (follow me at 'thekitchenista'.) I've also joined the ranks of Pinterest, Tumblr, and most recently got my feet wet in YouTube. Sharing my home recipes, cooking tips and stories with my social media network has been an incredibly rewarding experience. It's truly a blessing to interact with others who love food as much as I do! So many of my friends and followers are eager to learn how to become better home cooks, and I'm honored they've entrusted me to help them get there.

Nominate The Kitchenista for a social media award in the Shorty Awards

So here's what I need you to do. It only takes a minute, promise. Check out my Shorty Awards interview, and use the designated box to tweet your nomination to @MissAngelaDavis for a Shorty Award in #Food! Easy, right? Thank you, seriously...I sincerely appreciate your nominations. With your continued support, bigger and better things are coming for The Kitchenista Diaries, and I'm thrilled that y'all have decided to come along for the ride!

Now let's get into this Frittata, shall we?

Bacon, Fennel & Kale Frittata with Sweet Potato Crust

8 eggs
8 oz. bacon
1 sweet potato
1 sweet red onion
1 c. sliced fennel
3 c. chopped kale
4 cloves garlic, peeled & sliced
2 tbsp butter (if needed)
1/4 c. thinly sliced fresh sage leaves
Pinch of nutmeg
Kosher salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste

Serves: 4
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Equipment Needed: Medium pot, oven-proof skillet. I recommend cast-iron or a heavy-bottomed stainless steel skillet.

Preheat your oven to 400°.  Peel and slice your sweet potato into 1/4" thick disks. You'll need enough to overlap and cover the bottom of your skillet. Place the potato slices in the bottom of a pot and add a tablespoon of water. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and turn the heat to medium low. When the potatoes are fork tender, they're good. It should only take a few minutes or so. Set the potato slices aside on a paper towel to absorb any excess water.

Alternatively, the microwave can be used to steam the sweet potato slices.

Dice the bacon and drop it into a cold skillet. Heat the skillet to medium heat, stirring the bacon occasionally as it cooks. This is always my favorite part. Sizzling bacon is so damn sexy.

When the bacon is just shy of crisp, remove it from the skillet with a slotted spoon, leaving about a tablespoon of the bacon fat behind. Reserve the rest. Transfer the bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.  I'm careful not to overcook my bacon here as it does continue to crisp up later in the oven.

Add the sliced onion, fennel and garlic to the greased skillet.

Saute until the fennel and onion have softened and started to brown.

Add the chopped kale to the skillet, and stir into the onions and fennel. The kale will start to wilt after a couple minutes. I almost called it a day right here and just had sauteed kale, it smelled that good.

Season the mix with a good pinch of salt and pepper. When the kale has softened, transfer everything from the skillet into a dish and set aside.

You'll want to make sure the skillet is adequately greased at this point. Add some additional bacon fat or butter and swirl around the skillet, being sure to coat the sides too.

Arrange the sweet potato slices on the bottom of the skillet, overlapping slightly. Allow to cook for a minute or so, undisturbed, to set.

The bright orange color of cooked sweet potatoes is another thing that makes me swoon. Possibly because I associate it with sweet potato pie. Sweet potato pie thoughts are always happy ones.

Spread the kale, onions and fennel over the sweet potatoes.

Reduce heat to medium low. Lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Add some torn sage leaves, a little freshly grated nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Carefully pour the eggs into the skillet, covering the sweet potatoes and seeping into the kale mixture. Don't stir. Allow the eggs to start to set.

Sprinkle that bacon all over the surface of the frittata.

When the eggs have set around the edges of the skillet, carefully transfer the skillet to the middle rack of your preheated oven.  Bake for 10 minutes or until eggs are set in the middle.

Once cooked, remove the skillet from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving. Gorgeous right? My son was practically up underneath my armpit waiting for a slice at this point.

You can serve the frittata straight from the skillet, just be sure to use plastic utensils that won't scratch. You can also slide the whole thing out onto a big enough serving plate.

See how those sweet potatoes form a crust at the bottom? The very bottom crisps up but the rest of the potato remains creamy. It actually tricked my tongue into believing there was melted cheese in there believe it or not!

That's it folks. Easy breezy. If you happen to have any leftovers, refrigerate them. This was great cold and at room temperature!

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  1. Awesome...all the stuff I shouldn't est but...Kale and potatoes make it right. Creative. Photos make my mouth water. Thank you.

  2. You from the South? Cast iron skillet AND bacon?! The sweet potato crust intrigues me! I bet it adds a nice subtle sweetness! Can't wait to try it!

    1. I tried this recipe tonight (with a few tweaks. I added fennel leaves to the egg mixture with the sage and added a dollop of strained and peppered greek yogurt with each serving) and MA'AM. THIS IS AMAZING. You have a gifted palate and you aren't afraid to use it to your better judgment. Definitely a fan.

    2. Nice! Thank you, so glad you liked it. Greek yogurt does make everything even better!

  3. Wow, I found this recipe by putting fennel bacon and egg in Google and so glad i did.
    Very nice and easy recipe, I too added fennel leaves in the egg for extra color and flavor and actually used Chard instead of Kale because I have a heap growing out back.

    Not too sweet, quite healthy as far as bacon dishes go, awesome!!

    Oh, I'm not sure if you used smoked bacon or regular.
    I used the cheap supermarket variety so added a touch of smokiness with a pinch of smoked paprika.

    Nice recipe - a keeper for sure.