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Passover

Swiss Chard, Potato and Cheese Gratin

By: 
Stella Cohen

This delicious gratin is known also known as quajado di pasi kon patata i keso (sfongo) in Ladino.

Swiss chard gratin of Turkish origin is characterized with small mounds of mashed potato and cheese mixture interspersed in a bed of Swiss chard, egg, cheese, and potato. It is traditionally served during Passover week, on Rosh HaShanah, and for the festival of Shavout. Served piping hot, this makes a wholesome light family meal.

Ingredients: 
GRATIN
1 pound 2 ounces (500 grams) Swiss chard (silverbeet), stalks removed, washed, and finely shredded
1 pound 2 ounces (500 grams) potatoes, unpeeled
7 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups freshly grated kashkaval or Parmesan cheese mixed with 1/2 cup crumbled feta
sea salt
white pepper, finely ground
..............................................................
IN SEPARATE BOWL
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon milk
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TOPPING
1/3 cup grated kashkaval or Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Directions: 
  • Brush a 14 x 10-inch (35 x 25 cm) earthenware ovenproof dish with oil.
  • Dry the Swiss chard in batches in a salad spinner. Spread out the shredded chard on kitchen towels and pat gently ensuring that it is thoroughly dry. I like to do this step the night before so the leaves dry thoroughly.
  • Put the potatoes in a pan with enough cold salted water to just cover. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and, whilst still hot (using a fork to hold the potato steady and tongs to peel off the skin), peel and return to the pan for about 1 minute to dry off any excess moisture. Put through a potato ricer. Divide the potato mixture into two thirds and set aside the remaining third.
  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and heat the oiled dish in the oven for 5 minutes.
  • In a very large bowl, and using your hands, mix the Swiss chard with two-thirds of the mashed potato and 1 1/2 cups of grated mixed cheese, salt, and pepper. When evenly incorporated add the 7 beaten eggs and combine well.
  • In another bowl, combine the remaining third of the mashed potato with 2 beaten eggs, the remaining 1/2 cup mixed cheeses and the milk. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well.
  • Remove the heated dish from the oven and spread the Swiss chard and potato mixture evenly into the dish.
  • With a spoon, scoop out golf ball-sized hollows in the layer of the Swiss chard and potato mixture spacing them evenly in rows about 1 inch (2.5cm) apart. Fill with teaspoonfuls of the potato and cheese mixture, forming small mounds.
  • Sprinkle the gratin with cheese and dot with a few small knobs of butter. Bake for 50 minutes or until the top is crusty and golden brown. Serve directly from the dish, hot or cold, cut into squares.

Reprinted with permission from Stella’s Sephardic Table: Jewish family recipes from the Mediterranean island of Rhodes © 2012 by Stella Cohen, The Gerald & Marc Hoberman Collection. Photography by Marc Hoberman.

Sephardic cuisine expert, artist, textile designer, and cookery writer, Stella Cohen is a passionate ambassador for the Jewish community, dedicating her life to the celebration, preservation, and education of Sephardic values and traditions. Stella’s heart lies in Southern Africa as well as in the Mediterranean, as she was born and raised in Zimbabwe and has a family tree entrenched in Sephardic history. Her parents originate from Rhodes, Greece, and Marmaris, Turkey and she is the great-granddaughter of Yaacov Capouya, the Rabbi of Rhodes.
 

Stella's Hints

  • Use ricotta or fresh goat’s cheese instead of feta for a blander taste.
  • The volume of the trimmed Swiss chard seems large but it reduces significantly when cooked.

This activity can be done in the days or weeks leading up to Passover or during your seder with a group of any size. It’s appropriate for families, kids who can write, chavruta (pairs of study partners) or even individuals pondering the upcoming holiday.

Thursday, April 5 A Temple Sinai Program: Erev Seventh Day Pesach Musical Service As we get ready to put away the matzah for another year, let’s join our friends at Sunrise of Thornmill (484 Steeles Ave. W.) for a musical service marking the end of Passover. With prayer and song, we’ll celebrate the festival of freedom alongside Rabbi Daniel Mikelberg and Cantors Charles Osborne and Katie Oringel. 

Thursday, April 5, 2018 - 3:00pm to Sunday, April 8, 2018 - 3:00pm

Seder open to the Dallas/Fort Worth Community 

Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 6:00pm to 10:00pm

2nd night Passover Community Seder 

Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 6:00pm to 9:00pm

1st Night Seder

Friday, March 30, 2018 - 6:00pm

A second night Seder open to the community at Congregation Emanu El

Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Join our community seder!

Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 5:00pm

Delicious, Fun Passover Experience; RSVP required; $18/adult; $10/Children 5-12; Chilren 5 & under free 

Saturday, March 31, 2018 - 6:00pm

Join us for a community seder.

Monday, April 2, 2018 - 6:00pm

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