Swiss Chard and Ricotta Cakes
These small cheesy cakes are a great way to use the fresh chard of the season and are perfect as an appetizer or over salad as a light vegetarian meal.
- 10-12 cups of swiss chard, about 3-4 bunches
- 4 basil leaves, sliced thin
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup grated Parmesan
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons of ghee or oil, plus more for frying
- thick yogurt and basil for topping
Wash and drain the chard, then place in a pot of boiling water. Cover and cook on high heat just until chard is wilted (the chard should be tender but not overcooked so watch it carefully). When the chard is done, place in a colander to cool and drain.
Cover the thinly sliced basil leaves with two tablespoons of the boiling water and set aside.
Combine flour, salt, and baking powder in a bowl. In a larger bowl, mix together ricotta, Parmesan, milk and eggs until blended. Add the oil, basil, and whisk in the flour mixture. Return to the chard and squeeze out as much water as possible, then chop it finely. Stir the chopped chard into the mixture.
Heat a few tablespoons of ghee or oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Drop the batter by the spoonfuls into the hot pan, making whatever size cake you wish. The batter is quite thick so you must give it plenty of time to cook through (about 3 minutes per side or longer). They should be golden brown. Only turn the cakes once and resist the urge to pat them down.
Remove the cakes from the pan and serve warm with a dollop of thick yogurt and some fresh basil.