Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What Mama's Cooking: Swiss Chard Pancakes

When Molly was little she called Swiss chard "Swiss charge." On the infrequent occasions we eat Swiss chard together nowadays, her father seizes the opportunity to remind her of her malapropism with fondness.

I have no memory of how I found a recipe for Swiss chard pancakes or what I was really looking for, but this recipe caught my eye and inspired my plant-only version.

When my husband sat down to eat he exclaimed, "Only my wife would make Swiss chard pancakes!" Little did he know about those home cooks in the South of France. Thank you Dorie Greenspan and The Splendid Table. I don't know what yours taste like but we thought these were great.

xx Mama and Molly

1 medium onion
1 shallot
10-12 branches of parsley
a handful of chives, not green onions
2 cloves garlic
2 tbsp red pepper flakes
1/2 block of extra firm tofu
2 cups chickpea flour
2 cups veggie broth
2 bunches Swiss Chard, stems removed
Olive oil
Store bought sun-dried pesto
Ground cumin
Cayenne pepper

Process the onion, shallot, parsley, chives, garlic, red pepper flakes and about half the broth until uniform. Add the tofu and process until uniform again then begin with about half the flour adding more broth and more flour until you have a thick batter. You may not need all the broth because you do not want it to be watery (or dry).

Add a handful of the Swiss chard at a time and process. The finished batter with be GREEN! Salt and pepper to taste.

Using about 2 tbsp of the olive oil coat a fry pan and heat to medium high. Spoon enough batter for 4 or 5 pancakes at a time and cook until they are firm enough to turn, about 2-3 minutes. Cook for 2-3 minutes on the other side. Place on a cookie sheet on in a 350° oven to cook a bit more and to stay warm while you make additional batches.

To make the spicy sun-dried tomato pesto, process store bought pesto with a sprinkling of cumin powder and cayenne pepper.

Just before serving, spread each pancake with the tiniest bit of spicy sun-dried tomato pesto.

I served them with fresh peas and slender green beans flavored with a spritz of olive oil and finely chopped mint.

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