This is a traditional dish served in Sephardic-Jewish homes for Rosh Hashanah -- and it's good for Hanukkah, too.
Spinach can be substituted for the Swiss chard.
Yield: Makes about 20 pancakes (about 6 servings)
- 1 large bunch Swiss chard, rinsed well and stemmed (about 1 pound total)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 3 to 4 tablespoons plain dried bread crumbs, or more as needed
- 2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
- 8 ounces lean ground beef (optional)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- Olive oil, for frying
- Lemon wedges, for serving
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the chard leaves and cook (blanch) for about 1 minute (a slight change in color), then drain in a colander and cool.
Squeeze as much moisture as possible out of the blanched Swiss chard, then coarsely chop. Transfer to a mixing bowl. Add the egg, bread crumbs, parsley, the ground beef, if desired and the salt; use your hands to blend the mixture. If it seems too loose, add bread crumbs as needed.
Line a large baking sheet with several layers of paper towels. Place a wire cooling rack on top.
Heat about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until the oil just starts to shimmer. Meanwhile, form the mixture into about twenty 2-inch patties. Working in batches, fry 4 or 5 latkes at time for 3 to 4 minutes, until crisped and golden. Turn over and fry on the second side to achieve the same effect. (If you are using the ground beef, cook the latkes for 5 to 6 minutes on each side.) Transfer to the rack to drain.
Serve warm or at room temperature, with lemon wedges on the side.
From Washington caterer Vered Guttman.
Tested by Doris N. Truong.
E-mail questions to the Food Section at email@example.com.