Chard Cakes with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Chard Cakes with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Plenty of Farmers Market Goodness

My absolute favorite cookbook of all time was recommended by a farmer at the Montford Farmer’s Market right before they closed for the season.

Stopping by the Full Sun Farm table, I asked Vanessa Campbell how she likes to cook greens at home. From the back of the truck, she pulled out a cookbook thick with well loved pages of recipes, Plenty:Vibrant Recipes from London’s Ottolenghi, and flipped to one she likes to make with kale or chard.

My own copy of the now rests within reach of my kitchen work table. The page that opens to the little cakes made from greens is splattered. And so are many others; I think it’s heresy to have pristine cookbooks on a shelf. Especially this one….filled with genius vegetable combinations and gorgeous photography, this book is a timeless investment.

Armed that day with salmon fillets from Wild Salmon Co., a bundle of chard, and local goat cheese, I took to the kitchen and came up with this recipe adaptation from Plenty. Eliminating a few of the spices to make it easier, I found the flavors of our local ingredients shine through.

Chard Cakes with Garlic Yogurt Sauce

Adapted from Plenty – by Yotam Ottolenghi

For sauce:

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt !

For cakes:

  • 1 1/4 pounds Swiss chard
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) grated Three Graces Dairy Goat Feta or
    other firm, local cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Half-in-half vegetable oil and olive oil for frying!

For arugula salad:

  • 3 cups fresh arugula
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare the sauce: Stir the yogurt, olive oil, garlic, and salt in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

Prepare the cakes: Cut the woody stalks of the chard from the leaves. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add the stalks and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the leaves to the pot of boiling water with the stalks; continue simmering until the chard leaves are wilted, about 3 minutes. Drain the chard in a colander; let stand until it is cool enough to handle. Squeeze as much water out of the chard as possible. Chop the leaves and stalks coarsely and place in a medium bowl.

Add the cheese, nuts, breadcrumbs, olive oil, egg, salt, and pepper; mix thoroughly. If the mixture is sticky, add additional breadcrumbs by tablespoons. Form the mixture into eight (5/8- to 3/4- inch) patties.

Pour 1/4 inch oil in a large, heavy skillet; place over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add half of the patties; cook until golden brown, 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Adjust the heat as necessary. Drain on paper towels; cook the remaining patties and drain.

Place them on serving plates; serve warm or at room temperature with the arugula salad and yogurt sauce. Makes 4 side dish servings or 8 first-courses.

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