Although farçous are originally from Aveyron, I first spotted one at the market in Montpellier, cooked by a little lady with a food stall, to be eaten on the go. It is a pancake packed with chard, and it’s quite unlike your average French market fare, which usually consists of large vats of choucroute garnie, paellas, or rotisserie chickens. Only an hour after my first farçou experience, I was enjoying a gastro version in a smart local restaurant, Le Pastis, cooked by an ex-Paris-based chef, Daniel Lutrand, who champions the local produce. He served a delicate version as an amuse-bouche. Inspired by the preserved lemons that are popular in Provence, I’ve studded mine with little citrus hits; a lovely match with wholesome chard.
- Yield: 8 large or 16 small blinis
- Preparation Time: 5 Minutes
- Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
- 1½ cups (150 g) all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove of garlic, finely minced
- ½ tbsp finely chopped preserved lemon
- 3 chard leaves, finely chopped
- ¾ cup plus 1 tbsp milk
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 tbsp butter
- Crème fraîche for serving (optional)
- In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the shallot, garlic, preserved lemon, and chard. Mix together, and then stir in the milk and eggs.
- Melt the butter in a large nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Use a spoon or small ladle to drop some of the batter into the pan and quickly flatten it down. Fry in batches (so as not to overcrowd the pan) for 3 to 4 minutes on one side or until golden brown before flipping and cooking on the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes. Serve warm, with a dollop of crème fraîche, if you like. These can also be enjoyed cold.