Sunday, March 23, 2014

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Ricotta & Marjoram Medallions

Sautéed Chard with Ricotta Medallions

I know I don't make a whole lot of vegetable-heavy meals here, and it is something I want to try to do more often, but I'll be honest, I usually find myself hitting a brick wall when it comes to being creative with vegetables. I know there's so many ways to enjoy and prepare them, but for some reason I have a difficult time coming up with any of them myself. And on top of that, I've noticed that I somehow always manage to incorporate something decidedly unhealthy into the healthy, vegetable-based meal I am trying to create. Like the time I tried to make a salad and ended up putting bacon drippings on it (it was basically a BLAT without the bread, and it was delicious). So when McCormick approached me about participating in another ingredient challenge for April's Go 4 Gourmet and I heard that the first ingredient was leafy greens, I was a little nervous because, aside from spanikopita and beet greens, my experience with salads and the like is fairly limited. But agreeing to the challenge would provide me with the motivation I needed to experiment in the field of vegetables, so I accepted to basically force myself to be a better vegetable-maker.

Chard
Hello, friend.

I began by conducting some research (and by that I mean I wandered around the produce section of my supermarket googling every frilly green thing I saw), and in the midst of my mental frenzy, a bushel of large, vibrant leaves caught my eye. It was chard, the rainbow variety of which comes with wonderfully saturated stems in a variety of colors. The hues are so vivid and bright that it almost looks as though someone injected ink into them (but I purchased an organic variety so I'm fairly certain that was not the case). Their flavor is slightly bitter, much like spinach, and after reading about their preparation methods, I saw that they took well to sautéing, so I decided to do just that.

Chard-9

But after jumping that hurdle, I still had to figure out how to incorporate the rest of the required ingredients; ricotta, marjoram, and panko breadcrumbs. I thought about sprinkling the cheese over the top, but then I thought about the texture of having to sprinkle the breadcrumbs over the sautéed greens, too, and had to veto that idea immediately. And then a memory popped into my head, a memory of a goat cheese salad I'd had many, many years ago. It was, and still is, the best salad I've ever had. It was very simple, just mixed greens and a light dressing, but what made it wonderful was the little fried goat cheese medallions on top of it that were still hot and gooey and melty inside, but wonderfully crisp on the outside. And that's when I realized I needed to fry up some cheese.

Sautéed Chard

I made the ricotta medallions with some egg, marjoram, and other seasonings, and then served them on top of the sautéed chard. The medallions brought a wonderful crunch to the soft sautéed greens, and the acidity of the chard complimented the creamy ricotta and mildy sweet marjoram perfectly. It's an easy dish to throw together, and if you use low-fat ricotta and olive oil for the pan-frying, it's very healthy, too. I'll definitely be using chard again in the near future, its depth of flavor and incredible beauty has left me feeling very inspired. Perhaps there will be a chard quiche in the near future...

Chard-4


Sautéed Swiss Chard with Ricotta and Marjoram Medallions



Sautéed Swiss Chard

10 large leaves of chard
2 tablepsoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white wine
1-2 teaspoons vinegar, depending on how tart you prefer it
pinch of salt and pepper

Ricotta and Marjoram Medallions

1/2 cup ricotta
1 egg, whisked
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs 
oil for frying

First, prepare the medallions. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ricotta, egg, 1/2 teaspoon of the marjoram, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper until a smooth mixture forms. Cover the bowl and place it in the freezer for 30 minutes to help the ricotta mixture firm up a bit. Pour the bread crumbs into a small wide bowl and add the remaining spices, mix until blended.

Chard-5

Remove the bowl of ricotta from the freezer and scoop about 1 heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture into the panko, completely coating it in the crumbs. Pat it down into a little disc and set it aside, repeat with the remaining ricotta. Pour the oil into frying pan so that the oil is 1 inch deep. Heat it over medium heat and flick a drop of water into the pan to see when it is ready for frying (if the water hisses and evaporates immediately, it is ready). Fry the medallions until golden on each side, taking care when flipping them. When done, remove them with a slotted spatula and set them on a plate lined with paper towels.

Ricotta Medallions

Now you can make the sautéed chard. Cut the stems out of the chard, and then cut them into 1-inch thick slices. Chop the remaining chard into roughly 4 inch x 4 inch pieces. Set aside. Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Once the butter has melted, add the garlic and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the garlic has softened and the pan smells strongly of it. Add the white wine and chard stems and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the stems have softened a little bit. Now add the chard leaves, and cook them for about 3-5 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds to ensure that the leaves are being evenly cooked. Once they just begin to wilt, remove them from the heat and stir in the vinegar. Add salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to the serving surface and top with the ricotta medallions. Serve immediately.




36 comments:

  1. i love this! i have had salads with fried cheese like this before at restaurants, but never thought to make them at home! and isn't swiss chard just the PRETTIEST?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. OMG YES. I ended up taking a ridiculous amount of photos of just the raw chard because I couldn't get over how gorgeous it was haha. So amazingly colorful!!! And fried cheese on top of veggies is just the tastiest, makes every salad instantly 10x better :D

      Delete
  2. Stunning, as always. This dish sounds unreal!

    ReplyDelete
  3. You always make vegetables look "decadent". It's such an amazing quality you have.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The medallions look divine and swiss chard is actually my favorite green! I may have to make this for a dinner later this week! x

    www.chevronsandeclairs.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ohh yayy!!! Let me know what you think of it, my dear, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

      Delete
  5. I love veggie salads with fried cheese, it's what I usually order when we go out, time after time, drives my husband crazy. The chard looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahaha, nothing beats fried cheese with tasty greens. The texture and taste combination is so wonderful! Maybe next time your husband will join the fried cheese salad bandwagon :)

      Delete
  6. Ha--I just made a meal that looks suspiciously similar to this! Although I was having pasta with my greens instead of these beautiful little cheese patties. What a great idea they are!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Eileen!! Your ravioli with chard does look suuuuuuper tasty, I'll have to pair the sautéed chard with a nice cheese ravioli next time, it sounds amazing!

      Delete
  7. Hi Eva. What a stunning dish! I love chard, I mostly use it in (Greek) pies along with other greens but I would love to try it the way you're suggesting here.
    I love your photos, as always. May I ask what camera you are using?
    Have a great day!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Magda!! Using it in savory greek pies is a great idea, I bet it would taste wonderful with all that melted feta :) And I shoot with a canon 5d mark ii, got the camera last year and I'm completely in love with it. Definitely recommend it!

      Delete
  8. I love this so much, Eva! I feel exactly like you when it comes to vegetables -- hard to commit to a veggie-heavy dish (I'm always paranoid I'm going to be hungry 2 seconds later!) and when I do, I inevitably put bacon in it. I absolutely adore this dish! The fried ricotta medallions sound out of this world. Thanks for the veggie inspiration :) and the phenomenal photos!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Cynthia!! Being hungry again is my main concern, too. My husband is 6' 3" so he needs to eat a lot, so basically a casserole dish of roasted brussels sprouts would last like 2 meals, and that's just if it was a side in addition to something protein-heavy. I hope you do give this a try, it makes for a very tasty side dish and the ricotta helps keep you nice and full :)

      Delete
  9. The best way to expand your capabilities and creativity is by doing something that scares you, I think. I do that every day with the science. It's terrifying but (usually!) worth it, even if there's tears and frustration along the way. And you came up with such a great dish! We grew chard in our garden last year. It was prolific! We sauteed most of it because it was so quick and easy. I love the ricotta medallions you've made. There's a jar of dried marjoram in my kitchen begging for a use; this is it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are completely right, and I feel so much more confident for trying something new! I really want to try growing chard next year, it has such an amazing color to it and the flavor is great (not to mention how good it is for you). And the ricotta medallions & marjoram reallllly kicked the whole thing up a notch. Can't go wrong with fried cheese and flavorful herbs! I really haven't used marjoram much, to be honest, but after this I kind of want to put it in everything. It has such a sweet refreshing flavor, kind of like basil, I bet it would be a great addition to tomato sauces. Perhaps once my tomatoes come in this summer.... :D

      Delete
  10. i don't like the way swiss chard tastes, but i always love its colors. you've made a lovely dish!

    ReplyDelete
  11. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  12. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  13. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  14. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  15. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  16. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  17. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  18. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  21. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  22. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  23. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  24. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  25. deberias utilizar moringa el arbol de la vida jorge pilonieta merida venezuela

    jorgearturopilonieta@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  26. Nice post , i hope everyone will like your post

    ReplyDelete