Trouchia (silverbeet omelette)

About silverbeet or chard

Silverbeet is a variety of Beta vulgaris and is closely related to beetroot. In France it is known as blettes, in Britain as chard and in the USA as Swiss chard. It is a versatile vegetable commonly used in Mediterranean cooking. Both the leaves and stalks can be used individually.

Silverbeet grows in many Australian vegetable gardens and is often called spinach. It is a handsome biennial plant and a handy one to have in your garden, as it is easy to grow, very nutritious and can be harvested almost continuously.

To blanch silverbeet

When I buy a big bunch of silverbeet at the markets, I usually wash and blanch it as soon as I bring it home. It is then conveniently ready to use and takes up a lot less room in the fridge. Blanching silverbeet also gets rid of some of the oxalic acid it contains.

Trim and discard the coarse stems and wash the silverbeet thoroughly in a couple of changes of water. Strip the leaves from the stalks and spines and keep them separate.

Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add salt. Drop the leaves and stems into the water and bring back to the boil. Cook the leaves for a couple of minutes and the stems a little longer. Lift them out and plunge into cold water to cool. Drain and keep in the fridge until needed. The blanched leaves can be used for the trouchia and for other recipes.


Trouchia (silverbeet omelette)

Trouchia is a moist silverbeet omelette that is a specialty of Nice, in Provence. It is a flat omelette similar to the Italian frittata that can be served as a light meal or packed up and taken on a picnic. Serve it with crusty bread and a salad such as the orange and olive salad.

Only the green part of the silverbeet leaf is used in the trouchia. I like to include onion in this recipe but it can be left out. The pine nuts are optional. Trouchia needs to be cooked very gently to keep it moist and prevent the outside becoming dark brown.

Photography by Andrew Taylor

Serves 6


  • 1 bunch of silverbeet, about 1 kg
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 6 free-range eggs
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup (50g) grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 4 basil sprigs, shredded or 3 thyme sprigs, leaves stripped
  • sea salt and freshly milled pepper
  • 30g pine nuts, lightly toasted, optional but good


Equipment: You will need a large sauté pan or saucepan to fry the onions and silverbeet and a 26 cm non-stick frying pan and lid to cook the trouchia.

  1. Trim and discard the coarse stems from the silverbeet. Strip the leaves from the stalks and spines and wash thoroughly in a couple of changes of water. Keep the stalks to use in another dish. Cut the green leaves into shreds.
  2. Heat two tablespoons of the olive oil in the sauté pan and gently cook the onion with a pinch of salt until soft. Add the shredded silverbeet; turn up the heat and stir-fry until wilted and all the moisture in the pan has cooked away. The dish can be prepared to this stage earlier in the day.
  3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl and mix in the garlic, parmesan, parsley, basil or thyme, salt, pepper and optional pine nuts. Add the silverbeet and onion to the egg mixture and combine.
  4. Heat the remaining olive oil in the frying pan on medium heat and swirl the oil around the sides. Tip the silverbeet and egg mixture into the pan and stir to spread evenly and jiggle the pan to settle. Turn the heat down to low, cover and cook gently for about eight minutes until it is firm underneath but still a little runny on top. Run a spatula around the edge a couple of times.
  5. It is time to turn the trouchia over now to cook the top. To do this, turn it upside down onto a flat saucepan lid or dinner plate. Add a little more oil to the pan and slide it back, uncooked-side down. Scrape into the pan any mixture left behind and tuck in underneath. Return the pan to a gentle heat and cook for a few more minutes until firm. Alternatively, transfer the trouchia to a moderately-low oven to finish the cooking. Sprinkle a little olive oil on top first. When the top is golden and firm, it is ready.
  6. Rest the trouchia in the pan for a few minutes and then turn out onto the serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature and cut into wedges with bread and salad.


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