Tuesday, July 19, 2011

a whole lot of green

Our summer weather, such as it was, has packed up and left. In its’ wake we have grey, cloudy skies and a lot of rain. I tell myself it is better than the sweltering heat that has enveloped most of the rest of North America and it is. And I don’t have to water my plants every day except for the tomatoes that are under cover so they don’t get blight because of all the rain. But our souls are longing for a bit of summer sunshine. And I would think my garden is too but there is much evidence to the contrary. The zucchini are growing – maybe not the zucchini bats I would have in sunshine but lots, enough so that every weekend supper featured zucchini in some form. The radishes have huge greens, the beans are leaping upwards, the potato vines are enormous and the tomatoes are ripening. And the chard and spinach were flowing boxes of green until they were ravaged by me over a couple of days to make a couple of suppers. One supper was chard (and some spinach) fritters. I found the recipe in Ottolenghi’s on-line column and thought they looked interesting. And I knew I had a bunch of chard from the market in the fridge and some growing in my garden.

It takes a lot of chard – 400g in total. So after picking and weighing a few times, I decided to throw some spinach in as well. More picking and weighing until I had a huge mountain of green on my counter.

But really, that was the hardest part of this recipe. And while they may not look very pretty, they are lovely to eat. I made a sauce for them using some greek-style yogurt, lemon juice, a squeeze of honey and some dill. Delicious.

Chard (and Spinach) Fritters (adapted from Ottolenghi’s recipe)

400g Swiss chard and spinach, leaves only
a big handful of oregano, basil and thyme from the garden, chopped
1½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ tsp sugar
3 tbsp flour
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 free-range eggs
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
80g feta, broken into small pieces
60ml olive oil

Bring a pan of salted water to a boil, and simmer the chard for five minutes. Drain, squeeze dry, then whizz in a food processor with the herbs, nutmeg, sugar, flour, garlic, eggs, a third of a teaspoon of salt and some pepper. Fold in the feta by hand.

Pour a tablespoon of oil into a frying pan over medium-high heat and spoon in three heaped tablespoons of the mix, one per fritter. Press down gently to shape into fritters, and cook for three to four minutes, turning once, until they take on some colour. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and repeat with the remaining fritter mix and oil. Serve hot.

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