Chard Fritters | Montreal

fritters

On Monday morning I opened the fridge to find no milk, no eggs, no juice and two vegetable drawers filled with greens. We had left the house in a scramble on Friday, dropped the kids in Vermont en route to Montreal, and returned too late on Sunday evening to think about groceries.

What was on my mind, however, was unloading some of those greens before the next CSA share arrived later that evening. The stars had aligned for Swiss chard fritters, an Ottolenghi recipe my friend Dee alerted me to this winter, which, along with the prawns with tomato and feta and the almond-clementine cake, she described as “not-to-be-missed” Jerusalem recipes.

And so I set to work plunging all of the mustard, turnip and radish greens along with one bunch of kale into a pot of boiling water. After blitzing the blanched, cooled, squeezed greens in the food processor with lots of herbs (parsley and cilantro), a heavy grating of nutmeg, and a couple of eggs, I folded in a handful of crumbled feta. In a small frying pan, I tested one fritter for seasoning then stored the batter in the fridge till dinnertime.

Crispy on the edges, creamy in the center, these little fritters, squeezed with lemon, made the most lovely Meatless Monday meal. But more importantly they saved my fridge from utter and complete dark-leafy-green domination. And for that I couldn’t be more grateful.

blanched greens

food processor

puréed fritter batter

feta

frying

Dark Leafy Green Fritters

Source: Jerusalem

Notes: As noted below, you can use any number of greens here. I didn't actually use any chard. I had a mix of kale, turnip and radish greens on hand, so that's what I used. Any dark leafy green will work just fine. And the same is true for the herbs — use what you have. I didn't have dill on hand, so I omitted. Chives, basil, tarragon, etc. would all be delicious.

Ingredients

  • 14 ounces Swiss chard, kale, mustard, turnip or radish greens, etc, stems removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped dill
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg (I didn't measure; just grated a lot directly into the processor)
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta cheese (1/2 cup)
  • Olive oil or grapeseed oil for frying
  • Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add greens and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from pot and drain well, patting leaves dry with a paper or kitchen towel.
  2. Place chard in food processor with herbs, nutmeg, sugar, salt, pepper, flour, garlic and eggs. Pulse until well blended. Fold in feta by hand.
  3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, spoon in 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture for each fritter (you should be able to fit three fritters per batch).

    Note: Even though there are more than three fritters pictured in the pan above, I would stick to cooking three at a time. I find these fritters a little tricky to flip, and the key is to make sure that you have space to flip but also to make sure the fritters are golden and crisp before flipping.

    Press down gently on fritter to flatten. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Add another tablespoon oil to pan and repeat. Serve warm, with lemon wedges (optional).
http://www.alexandracooks.com/2014/06/18/chard-fritters-montreal/

fritters

Our weekend in Montreal:

We had our first air bnb experience, which couldn’t have been more enjoyable. We stayed in the Mile End neighborhood:
air bnb

hallway

Isn’t traveling fun? Even courtyards are exciting.
courtyard

We ate delicious pastries at Kouign Amann
Kouign Amann

and spent hours at Jean Talon Market:
Jean Talon Market

rhubarb at Jean Talon

flowers

Jean Talon market

We admired the cooking demo sink at Les Touilleurs,
sink at Les Touilleurs

ate delectable bagels at St. Viateur,
bagels

and drank midday beers while watching Greece vs. Columbia:
b&M

We drove — so lazy! — to the top of Mt. Royal
view from Mt. Royal

and ate pig liver mousse at Le Comptoir:
charcuterie plate at Le Comptoir

We admired the Weck Jar votives at Sel Gras:
weck jar votives

enjoyed every drop of wine,
wine

and quickly checked the hockey score:
Ben

After dinner, we stopped at Café Olympico for the most delectable coffee and affogato:
affogato at Cafe Olympico

and watched Japan score an incredible goal against Ivory Coast.
Japan game, Café Olympico

On Sunday morning, we had our best meal of the trip at Lawrence, including a flaky, warm currant scone served with clotted cream:
Lawrence

And before heading out of town, we picked up coffees at Arts Café.
latte at Arts Cafe

Definitely will return there next visit:
Arts Cafe patio

44 Comments

  1. I’ve never been to Montreal! The closest I got was a connection on our way to Athens. I just tried AirBnB for the first time and loved it, too! Such a special experience though I’m sure there are some duds out there .

    I also share your affinity for Jerusalem cookbook and will have to try this one out as I’m always faced with a surplus of greens with my CSA!

    Reply
    • Lisa, I always think of you when I make something from Jerusalem. I keep finding gems in that book. I’ve been making veggie burgers based on the flavors of the turkey-zucchini burger recipe using quinoa and farro in place of the turkey…so good! I need to post about it.

      I am sure the airbnb experience is uneven, but this one couldn’t have been more pleasant, most especially because of the location. The Mile End is an awesome little spot! Hope you are well!

      Reply
  2. This post is reminding me I am due for a getaway! It’s so hard with little ones. I’ve never been to Montreal but it’s high on my list now. Beautiful post as always :)

    Reply
  3. Golly, every time I leaf through Jerusalem there are gems I am missing! I don’t even remember seeing these fritters?! So grateful you’re here for me Ali :) Perfect timing too with all the CSA bounty! Will be sure to share these, they sound so delicious. I love how nutty he gets with the flavors, spices and herbs! AND HE IS NEVER WRONG :)

    Oh my gosh you be any more adorable in that little French cafe! Serrrriously lady :) This looks like such a perfect weekend. I’m envious but MOSTLY happy for you haha! Your airbnb looks darling and I love your photos of all the food and treats. That courtyard! That rhubarb! Your stripes! <3

    Reply
    • Sophie, you are too kind. I always love hearing from you. It truly couldn’t have been a more perfect weekend. I am dying to get back…so much more to explore!

      And re fritters, there is no photo in the book, which is why you might not remember them, and after I made them, I understood why there was no photo: they are so unphotogenic! Seriously, not appetizing to look at, but they truly are delicious! And I know, that book is filled with jewels. I have so many pages bookmarked. Hope you are well!

      Reply
  4. So, two questions:

    1) Probably stupid question, but can you somehow do this without a food processor? Obviously not ideal, but is there a way?
    2) Can goat cheese or some other cheese sub for feta?

    I did have a question about the sandwich bread too, but I can’t think of it now. Oh, wait, yes I can: is this a recipe that can double and, if so, can a mixer stand up to the amount of dough?

    Reply
    • No such thing as a stupid question, right? OK, I think you could do this without a blender, and I think the result will be fritters with more texture — they potentially might be even better this way. I would, whisk the eggs with the flour, salt, pepper, sugar, etc. Then chop the blanched greens and herbs as finely as you can and fold them into the eggs. Then, fold in the goat cheese — yum! Love the idea of goat cheese. I think it will melt a little bit more than the feta, so you won’t get bites of cheese the way you do when you use feta, but the flavor will still be great.

      And yes, I think a stand mixer can in fact handle a double batch of dough. Which size mixer do you have? So funny, someone else just asked this same question.

      Reply
      • thanks for the response. it is a 6 quart mixer, which I think handles a lot, but I’ve been advised not to make a double batch of cookie bar dough in, so there’s that. I’m going to give it a try though.

        Reply
  5. The fritters look yum but the trip to Montreal looks even better :-). That looks like a great getaway for me and the hubby. Due to our visa it’s hard to leave the country but it will def. be on the list ( a little slice of France would be great after almost 6 years in the US, which is great btw!). Thanks for sharing this recipe!

    Reply
    • Dorothea you must! It really feels like you’re far away, but it’s such an easy trip. Honestly, all I can think about is when we can get back. Hope you are well!

      Reply
  6. You guys are so freaking cute! Movie cute, romantic short story cute….you even make fried greens cute! Sigh! You make me pine for a vaca but there are too many puppies and kitties hanging out here! Maybe a living room getaway?

    Reply
    • Thank you Laurie! And yes, you need a staycation! My friend here did that and said it was a blast — she and her husband took a week off from work and didn’t go anywhere. And you CANT go away. Those pups and kitties would be too too sad. Hope you are well! xoxo

      Reply
  7. These look a lot like a Persian fritter called Kuku Sabzi. That recipe uses dill, chives, parsley, and cilantro with eggs. Sometimes includes barberries and walnuts. I love that you blended cheese in with yours. And isn’t Montreal the best? I used to live there…those pictures of Jean Talon market took me back.

    Reply
    • Oh yum! That sounds delicious. I am sure kuku sabzi inspired this recipe. I have never cooked with barberries but I read about them somewhere else in the Jerusalem cookbook. And YES. We love Montreal. Can’t wait to get back!

      Reply
  8. oh, i need these fritters in my life. and fortunately, have a similary full-to-bursting situation in my fridge (chard, kale, beet greens, hoot!).

    and st. viateur bagels are. the. best. warm from the wood-burning oven. spackled with cream cheese. sigh.

    thanks for daylighting this recipe, and welcome home!

    xo,
    molly

    Reply
    • Thank you, Molly! Yes re st. viateur bagels — one of the highlights of the trip for sure.

      So glad I’m not the only one up to my eyeballs in greens :) I’m thinking about making some sort of spanakopita tonight…need to make space for the next delivery.

      Hope you are well!

      Reply
  9. Looks like you had a lovely trip!

    Thank you for this recipe! I immediately envisioned adding a dash of nutmeg and topping the leftovers with poached eggs for a morning meal! I’m going to have to try this soon! :)

    Reply
  10. Man these were good, cleaned out the garden ready to replant new stuff. Chard, spinach and Kale. No parsley, but a bit of cilantro. I wasn’t patient enough to get the greens very dry so squished them and added some panko to soak up the moisture. Used grapeseed oil per your suggestion and they turned out perfect. DH loved them, they were the hit of the dinner. Two each served with fresh halibut, and canneloni’s cooked with sage & serrano. Yum.

    Reply
    • Oh Laura, your menus always make me drool! Fresh halibut sounds so good right now. And nice call on adding panko to the mix. Isn’t a great way to clean out the fridge? Or in your case, garden? We have been overloaded with CSA greens, which I love, but sometimes my fridge can’t handle it all. Happy Happy Fourth!!

      Reply
  11. Thanks for the swiss chard recipe. Had my own from a CSA to use up. I have the Jerusalem cookbook but wouldn’t have tried that recipe without if I hadn’t found this post searching for swiss chard recipes online.

    Reply
    • So funny, I wouldn’t have tried the recipe either had my friend not pointed it out to me — there was no photo of it in the cookbook, and it is easily missed unless you’re really focused. Hope you like the fritters! We love them and are constantly being bombarded by greens from our CSA.

      Reply
  12. I have been wondering if those fritters were good or weird…now I think I will give them a shot with my next batch of CSA chard. Also, Montreal is a fabulous place to visit (I fantasize about a pied-a-terre there), and Lawrene is the best place for brunch!

    Reply
    • Definitely! They are such a great way to use up that chard. And yes re pied-a-terre…that would be a dream, ideally steps from Lawrence. I keep dreaming about that scone with clotted cream. Yum.

      Reply
  13. I just tried these last night. So good! I added a tahini yogurt dipping sauce. Coincidentally I just returned from Montreal as well. What a fabulous city. Love your photos, they capture the essence so well.

    I blogged about these fritters and linked back here! Love your site! Already made your apricot and ricotta pizza too. So tasty.

    If you’re curious check it out! http://foodmostly.com/2014/08/04/favourite-things-july-chicago-beck-and-recipe-for-kale-feta-fritters-with-chipolte-tahini-yogurt-dip/

    Reply
    • Yum! Maddie, a tahini-yogurt sauce sounds so good, and it is right up my alley — I am obsessed with tahini-based sauces right now, and I love the idea of incorporating a little yogurt in there. And yes re Montreal! Such a fabulous city. I’m eager to go back. Thanks so much for your kind words. It means a lot. I will check out your site!

      Reply

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