Thursday, April 8, 2010

Chard Cakes

This is a Lydia Bastianich recipe. I borrowed a cookbook from the library (Lydia's Italy) and took only two recipes from it. I adore her show because she shows footage from various regions in Italy, and the stories behind the food she cooks - travel plus food? What beats that?

But, true to Lydia, these are not lo-cal cakes. I suppose they are good for you because you can't adulterate greens so much that you start to cancel out the health benefits in them, right? Please say, Right.

They are a pain to make because they don't hold together at all, in my experience, but you can make it work. Also a pain because there are so many steps. But quite delicious. I used kale in the ones above because that is what was cost-effective. I was going to make these for our Easter feast. I doubled the recipe so Josh and I had these two nights in a row.

Chard Cakes:
4T olive oil
2lb. chard (or kale)
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
3 T butter, cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/2 cup shredded Montasio or Pecorino cheese

Clean chard and wilt in boiling water for two minutes until cooked, but still green. Drain thoroughly, and chop into shreds. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan and add the onion, cooking until browning, about 5 minutes. Add the chard, salt, and the butter. Stir until the mixture is dry but not browned. Lay it out on a sheet pan to cool a bit before handling. Transfer to a bowl, add pepper, and stir in the egg. Form into small patties, sticking cheese to the outside. Heat a nonstick skillet and lay the patties in, cooking until GBD, 1-2 minutes per side over medium heat.

Alternately, if you are like me and can't really get the patties to stick together in the first place, I heat the pan and have my cheese and chard mixture in separate bowls next to my stove. When the pan is ready (dry, no need for lubricant, as long as it's nonstick), I sprinkle cheese in the pan, then lay a glob of chard over and flatten with a spatula. Then I sprinkle cheese on the exposed side, flipping when ready. This seems to work pretty well for me.

You get about 6 patties, depending on how large you make them, of course.

These are surprisingly rich ... because of the butter, I suppose. I was thinking that I might try to cut the oil and butter in half next time to lighten it a bit. They would still be covered with a salty cheese, so I don't think the recipe would suffer much.

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