CHARD-SESAME BALLS WITH RED ONION JAM

By CARLUCCIA, Italy
CHARD-SESAME BALLS WITH RED ONION JAM
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Although Carluccia was not accustomed to cooking in the early afternoon, when I went to say good-bye she pulled these emerald-green polpette di bietola (chard balls) piping hot from her oven. Out came some Tropean red onion marmellata (jam) and a fizzy glass of the family’s red wine to accompany them. It was the perfect, verdant last treat with Carluccia, and she sent me off with an extra paper bag filled with them for the long plane ride home.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. To prepare the marmelatta, place the onions, sugar, salt, and cayenne together in a small pan. Turn the heat to medium-low, and bring to a boil. The onions will give off significant water—let the mixture boil until it becomes jam-like in consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar. Let cool to room temperature before serving with the warm polpette.
  2. To prepare the polpette, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper. Steam the chard leaves for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the chard and let briefly cool. Vigorously squeeze the chard dry by turning and pressing it against a fine-mesh strainer repeatedly to strain out the liquid. Finely puree the chard in a food processor. Place a cup of the chard in a large mixing bowl and whisk together with the rest of the ingredients, except for the olive oil and sesame seeds. Place some olive oil in one bowl, and sesame seeds in another. Roll the chard mixture into balls (using about 2 tablespoons per ball). Roll the balls first in the oil and then the sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned on the bottom.
Ingredients
Servings:
Instructions
  1. To prepare the marmelatta, place the onions, sugar, salt, and cayenne together in a small pan. Turn the heat to medium-low, and bring to a boil. The onions will give off significant water—let the mixture boil until it becomes jam-like in consistency, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the vinegar. Let cool to room temperature before serving with the warm polpette.
  2. To prepare the polpette, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly oil a baking sheet, or line it with parchment paper. Steam the chard leaves for 2 to 3 minutes. Drain the chard and let briefly cool. Vigorously squeeze the chard dry by turning and pressing it against a fine-mesh strainer repeatedly to strain out the liquid. Finely puree the chard in a food processor. Place a cup of the chard in a large mixing bowl and whisk together with the rest of the ingredients, except for the olive oil and sesame seeds. Place some olive oil in one bowl, and sesame seeds in another. Roll the chard mixture into balls (using about 2 tablespoons per ball). Roll the balls first in the oil and then the sesame seeds. Bake for 20 minutes, until puffed and lightly browned on the bottom.

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