Saturday, May 23, 2009

Swiss Chard Stalk Fritters

new camera photos 052

Swiss chard is finally coming into its own and is now easy to find in a bright array of colors at farmer’s markets and supermarkets. It wasn’t always that way, but I’m glad people have finally discovered the “queen of greens” – a vegetable that takes me back to my childhood.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy it is to blanch the leaves, stuff them and serve them with either a tomato sauce on top, or gratineed with some parmesan cheese. You can find that recipe here. When I don’t have time to fuss, I just stir fry the leaves in a little olive oil, salt, garlic and crushed red pepper. But whatever way I make it, I always cut the stalks from the leaves and cook them separately. It’s like getting two separate vegetables for the price of one. Most of the time I cook the stalks in some boiling water, then toss them in some butter. I’ll either serve them simply like that, or top them with bread crumbs mixed with parmesan cheese, a little dribble of butter, then put them in the broiler for a few minutes.

As a young girl, I remember my mother cooking up swiss chard stalk fritters in our basement kitchen (yes, we had two kitchens) but never got around to making them myself – until now. I didn’t have her recipe, so I just made it up from what I remembered decades ago.  If they weren’t exactly like hers, they were pretty darn close. The memories of all those parties in the basement, complete with my Dad holding court behind the bar he built, came flooding back. It’s amazing how food stirs such memories.

Swiss Chard Stalk Fritters

May 2009 018

Start by taking the stalks and chopping them into pieces. I had about 1 1/2 cups of stalks, enough for about 6 swiss chard fritters, each about two to three inches in diameter.

May 2009 013

Boil the stalks in water until tender, about 10 minutes, then drain.

Then mix up the following in a bowl:

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

salt, pepper to taste

chopped parsley, about 1/4 cup

The mixture will be stiff and may seem a bit dry, but once you mix in the stalks, some of the moisture from the stalks will work its way into the mixture. Add the stalks to the bread crumb mixture and press into patties.

May 2009 015

Fry the patties in hot oil, turning once. Drain and eat while hot and crispy.May 2009 016


  1. Mmm, those fritters look tempting. My chard has just come up in our garden (from the compost I spread), I'll try them when they become more fleshy. I too link different food with my mother and grand-mother!

  2. your fritters are teasing me.....mmmmm I can think of all the ways I want to gobble them up...

  3. Oh ho .. very clever Linda. This fritters look delicious. I love Swiss chards very much.

  4. What a fabulous use for swiss chard...this will send swiss chard futures through the roof!

  5. HI Linda,

    Swiss chard is a favorite of mine too. Especially when the rainbow colors arrive.

    I started to think about the parties my parents had, and those that we have with my 7 year old daughter around. Maybe these gatherings have more of an impact on us than I realize.

    I'm stashing your/your mother's recipe away! It looks wonderful.

  6. Food is indeed the easiest way (for me at least) to evoke dear memories. You know what, we're lucky it's that way :)
    My mom also cooked tons of swiss chard for us and I've had a hard time finding acceptable ones in Canada. Pity!
    These fritters I had never seen, but they must be delicious since the stalk is the tastiest, most aromatic part of the veg!
    Thanks Linda!

  7. Anything with the word "fritter" in it has to be good.......

  8. These fritters look delicious! I grew up thinking everyone had 2 kitchens! Didn't they? LOL

  9. Yum your fritters look so tasty! I love swiss chard. Thanks for the great new recipe!

  10. What a grand idea! Have never done anything like that with Swiss Chard. I am very boring. The chard should start appearing in MN in a month so bookmarking this. Looks scrumptious.

  11. Your fritters are inventive way to enjoy life.
    Thanks:) Delicioso:)

    and you can visit me if I can visit you:)
    to foodcreate

  12. What a great idea! I love chard and will definitely give this a try.

  13. Hi again Linda!
    About the cedar plank: I don't re-use them because they become pretty badly charred in the under side. But, when you use them in the oven, you can re-use them a couple of times. Just the BBQ kills them!

  14. That's a great use of the stalks! Your fritters look crisp and delicious. I have to try this.

  15. I'm so excited to try this with the chard I'm growing in my garden.
    Thanks Linda!!

  16. I'm a sucker for the fritter. Never thought of using chard, though. Should be some candidates in the garden right now!

  17. I love swiss chard and I usually cook them stalsk and all -- I just saute the stalks a little first and then add the leaves, but I love the idea of making them into fritters! I'll have to try this.

    My husband's family had a basement kitchen and couldn't understand how we didn't want