Ain’t That a Kick in the Head

Swiss Chard Malfatti with Sage:

As I listen to Dean Martin playing in the background, I’m laughing at how this recipe came about. For years, we’ve had a large vegetable garden adjacent to the barn, and with many trials and tribulations. There was year of the hedgehog, year of the slug, year of the pumpkin killing grub, and who can forget the fateful year of the tomato chipmunk thief – all this with a seven foot fence and chicken wire gate. This year, we tempered down with simplified potted vegetables and a converted bee box planter for microgreens and lettuce. A potted swiss chard however surprised with a bountiful and flourishing harvest and was the inspiration to craft something more than salads. Malfatti, a variant of gnocchi, is an easy recipe with a delicate and equally gratifying texture. With a simple sage infused pan sauce, the end result was superb and rooted in fresh homemade ingredients. I have not posted here in sometime, and not because I haven’t wanted to or otherwise not been cooking and concocting, but simply the sheer gravity of work, travel, and life getting the best of my time. It’s recipes like this however that need to be shared and enjoyed amongst friends.


TIP: Save stems and pickle separately (recipe below)

Swiss Chard Malfatti with Sage

  • Swiss Chard (16 large leaves, stems remove)
  • Parsley (1/4 cup, chopped)
  • Garlic (1 clove, minced)
  • Ricotta (1/2 cup)
  • Parmesan Reggiano (1/4 cup, grated)
  • Salt & fresh ground black pepper
  • Flour ’00 (6 Tbl)
  • Egg yolk (1)
  • Egg whole (1)
  • Olive oil (1 Tbl)
  • Sage leaves (6 leaves, stems removed)
  • Shallot (1, thinly sliced)
  • Garlic (1 clove, minced)
  • White wine (1/4 cup)
  • Butter (5 Tbl)
  • Vegetable stock (1/4 cup)
  • Lemon zest (1 Tsp)
  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil and then add pinch of salt. Add chard leaves and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove leaves and plunge into bowl of ice water. Remove leaves and squeeze to release all liquid, then coarsely chop and place into mixing bowl.
  2. Combine parsley, garlic, ricotta, parmesan, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Then mix in flour and eggs.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pinch of salt. Using two spoons, form quenelles and gently drop into water. Boil for 6 minutes. Using slotted spoon, remove malfatti and drain.
  4. While malfatti are cooking, heat a skillet over medium-high heat with tablespoon of oil. Add sage and cook for 1 minutes until fragrant. Add shallot and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes. Then add wine and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in butter and stock, and cook for 2 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Pickled Swiss Chard Stems

  • Swiss Chard stems
  • Shallot (1, sliced)
  • Salt (1 tsp)
  • Vinegar (1 cup)
  • Water (1 cup)
  • Sugar (1 tsp)
  • Caraway seeds (1 tsp)
  • Red Pepper Flakes (1/2 tsp)
  1. Add all ingredients to Mason jar. Cover with lid and shake to mix all ingredients. Refrigerate for at least 2 days, and then serve. Can be stored in refrigerator for 1-2 months.

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