Sephardi: Cooking the History, Hélène Jawhara Piñer’s 2021 cookbook, delves deep into Jewish history to illuminate dishes that were once prepared in times fraught with anti-Semitism: food was a way to reveal and preserve Jewish identity. This recipe for Tortitas de Acelga is excerpted from the book with the author’s kind permission. We served the tortitas with sour cream, a fresh endive salad (not shown here), and melon spiced with salt and Aleppo pepper.
Piñer’s Tortitas de Acelga recipe combines some of the main ingredients of Sephardic cuisine from Spain: Swiss chard, eggs, garlic, and olive oil. It is made with chickpea flour, a perfect dish for Passover.
Tortitas de Acela: Chickpea Flour Croquettes with Swiss Chard Recipe
1 bunch of Swiss chard
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 saffron strand (or ⅛ tsp yellow food coloring)
1/2 tsp salt
2 ¾ cups (250 g) chickpea flour
1 ¼ cup (250 ml) water
Neutral oil for frying
- Wash the chard and separate the green leaves only (the stalks can be used for another dish). Boil some salted water and cook them for 4 minutes. Drain and rinse them with cold water to keep them green, and squeeze them to remove all the water.
- Mix the crushed garlic, baking powder, egg, saffron, and salt in a bowl with a spoon.
- Finely cut the chard with a knife. Add it to the bowl, followed by the chickpea flour.
- Finally, pour in the water little by little. The preparation must remain thick.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a frying pan.
- Take a spoonful of the mixture, and with two spoons, form small croquettes. Fry for 2 minutes on each side. Put them on a paper towel before serving.
Cook with Hélène Jawhara Piñer:
And a special Hanukkah 75 cocktail from TABLE Magazine!
Sephardi: Cooking the History can be purchased through your favorite bookstore or online. For the rest of our article on Sephardi, click here.
Story by Maggie Weaver / Photography by Scott Goldsmith / Styling by Keith Recker / Food by Veda Sankaran
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