Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Crispy Swiss Chard Cakes with Parmeggiano Reggiano/ Bietole Soffritte con Formaggio

So we are kinda obsessed with these. Every time we have a little bunch of swiss chard leftover, we make these. We even use kale, in a crunch. They are like simple, little veggie sliders- unadulterated greens bound by egg and topped with a sprinkle of cheese before pan searing. The perfect vehicle of veggies for kids, Jada loves them. An ideal contorno or side dish to pair with pasta, they are also just as good eaten alone. 

I've tweaked Lidia's version of this Fruilian dish. Here it is: 

Boil 3 quarts of water in a large pot. Meanwhile, de-rib each 1 large bunch of chard leaves, about two pounds, rinse and drain. Cook the leaves for twenty minutes, dicing 1 onion while you wait. 

Drain and cool the chard, then slice it in to shreds. Lay the shreds on a paper towel and squeeze them out until they are completely dry. 

Time to cook: Pour 3 tbsps of olive oil in to a large skillet and sauté the onions with a sprinkle of salt, on medium heat, until they are just transparent. Stir in the chard. Add 1.5 tbsp of butter. Add more salt, to taste. Continue cooking until the vegetables become dry again, without burning them. This should not take more than five to six minutes. 

Now, pour the chard mixture in to a bowl and add a little more salt and pepper, to taste. Set it aside and wait until it is cool to the touch. You will be adding one beaten egg to the mixture and you do not want the egg to curdle so take special care to make sure that the vegetables are room temperature. 

While you wait, you can get going on the cheese, grating about 2 cups of parmeggiano reggiano

Add the egg to your chard if they are ready. Fold it in to the veggies with your fingers. Make patties in the size that suits you. Then, turn your skillet back on, medium-low. Here's where you need to be agile: While holding a patty in your hand, sprinkle it with a generous amount of grated cheese and then flip the cheesy side down in to the hot skillet. Three minutes should do the trick. Right before you are about to flip it, sprinkle cheese on the exposed side and flip. You are looking for golden brown goodness. Again, three minutes should do the trick but follow the cues of your food and your particular circumstances. 

Repeat, until complete, and enjoy immediately. 

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