Gourmandistan

Finding our own farçou

farçouplate

In 2009, visiting market after market across the wildly beautiful Aveyron region of Southern France, we ate a wide variety of farçous. The chard-laced pancakes from our local town’s market stall were small and sort of thick, while vendors in other towns turned out thinner, wider and crispier versions.

Rodez market

We enjoyed them all, and have often wished we could recreate the experience in Gourmandistan—especially in early Summer when buried in farm share chard. Then, this Fall, just as we began to see a late bloom of chard in our farm share boxes, Michelle purchased Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table which had a recipe for farçou. We couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try it out.

Our first round (picture not shown here) ended up a bit unappetizing in color, as we followed the direction to mix the chard in the blender with the other ingredients. (Although the original recipe references “strings” of chard in the batter, our attempt at gentle pulsing ended up with green purée.) The second time, we reserved the chopped chard and mixed it in after blending the other ingredients, and were very happy with the results. Some of our pancakes were thin and crispy, others a little thick and chewy. But they were hot, they were tasty, and they made the farm share chard magically disappear. While (uncharacteristically) Ms. Greenspan’s recipe wasn’t perfect, we certainly appreciate her helping Gourmandistan find our own farçou.

SWISS CHARD PANCAKES (Farçous)

(adapted from Dorie Greenspan’s Around My French Table) (3-4 servings, depending on how hungry you are)

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Chopped parsley & chives
  • 5-10 Swiss chard leaves (or spinach leaves), cut in long thin strips
  • Salt and pepper
  • Olive oil

Put milk, flour, eggs, and half of the chopped onions and garlic in a blender.  Whir to incorporate.

Add remainder of onions and garlic, herbs and sliced chard leaves.  Stir by hand into mixture, but do not turn on blender again. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour 1/4 inch or so of olive oil into a skillet over medium-high heat.  When oil is hot, spoon in batter in 1/4 cup increments.  Cook about 3 minutes on the first side, then turn with a spatula and cook about 2 minutes more.  Drain on a paper-towel-lined plate or (better) on a cooling rack with a sheet of wax paper underneath.

Serve alone as street food, or with salad as a meal.

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