Chard, Ricotta and Saffron Cakes
- 10 to 12 cups trimmed chard leaves
- 2 pinches saffron threads
- 1 cup white or whole wheat pastry flour
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 11/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/3 cup or more grated Parmesan cheese
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- 3 tbsp olive oil plus more for frying
Wash chard, drain and put in a pot with the water clinging to the leaves. Cover and cook over high heat until wilted. You want the chard to be tender but not overcooked, so keep an eye on it and taste frequently. Add a few splashes of water if the pot threatens to dry out. When the chard is done, put it in a colander to cool and drain.
Cover the saffron threads with 2 tbsp boiling water and set aside.
Combine the flour, salt and baking powder in a bowl. In a second larger bowl, mix together the ricotta, Parmesan, milk and eggs until blended. Add the oil and the saffron then whisk in the flour mixture. Returning to the chard, squeeze out as much water as possible, then chop finely and stir into the batter.
Heat a few tbsp olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Drop the batter by the spoonful into the hot pan making any size cakes as you wish. The batter is quite thick and will not behave like a pancake - give it plenty of time to cook through. Cook until golden on the bottom, then turn cakes once (do not pat down) and cook until the second side is well coloured, maybe 3 minutes per side or longer.
Serve each cake with a spoonful of sour cream.