Today we are preparing Swiss Chard Pancakes for the French Friday with Dorie group.
Swiss chard is a member of the beet family and has large, flat, crinkled green leaves with thick, fleshy stalks and ribs. The taste is rich, complex and robust.
Think of chard almost as two vegetables in one as both the leaves and stems can be used. The stem is often steamed and served separately. The leaves cook more quickly than the stem and can be added to soups, flans, tarts and omelettes and pancakes. Both stem and leaves can be sautéed with cream, butter and cheese.
Swiss chard is popular in Italian and French cooking. Different varieties may have red, pink, white or yellow stalks, ruby chard has red ribs, for example. Alas, around here, although Swiss chard is available year round it is only in season from June to August, and from October to March. Not now. That´s why I chose to substitute spinach for the Swiss chard, other than that, no changes to the original recipe.
Spinach is a leafy green vegetable that is generally cooked, but can also be eaten raw when young enough to be tender. It has a bit of a bittersweet taste and its vibrant green color can be used to dye pasta green, for example.
When shopping for fresh spinach, make sure to look for bright green leaves without yellowing or signs of bruising. Smaller leaves are best for salads, whereas larger ones stand up better to heat. Bear in mind that spinach leaves do shrink quite dramatically, so what looks like an enormous amount won’t be when it’s cooked.
Dorie´s recipe for the very French Swiss Chard Pancakes or farçous, could not be easier. All you need to do is blend the ingredients, namely, whole milk, AP (plain) flour, fresh eggs, an onion, a shallot, some garlic (I used tender spring garlic), Italian parsley leaves, fresh chives and Swiss chard (or in my case tender spinach leaves), in order to make a pancake batter. Than all you have to do is gently fry them in a pan in some good neutral oil (I used sunflower oil ).
These green pancakes were a huge hit at our house, we ate them plain, as an appetizer, absolutely no need to dress them up whatsoever, other then decorate them in a pretty spring like fashion.
To see, how the other Doristas prepared this French specialty, please click here