Bietole Soffrite con Formaggio – Crispy Swiss Chard Cakes with Montasio

I thought this one might need a bit of a description: “These cheese-encrusted rounds of cooked chard, similar to frico, are from Carnia, a district of quaint cities and towns scattered along the Carnic Mountains, at the tail of the eastern Alps. From the cows grazing on its high altitude pastures comes some of the best milk used to make Montasio in all of Friuli. I like to serve these unusual and irresistible cakes as a highlight of lunch or brunch, topped with a poached egg, or in between slices of country bread, as a delectable vegetarian “cheeseburger”. They’re a marvelous accompaniment to grilled meats, or, cut into small wedges, a great party nibble.”

2 pounds Swiss chard
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced (1-1/2 cups)
1½ teaspoons Coarse sea salt, or kosher salt or to taste
3 tablespoons butter, in pieces
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups Montasio cheese, shredded (about 5 ounces) (can substitute with Fontina or even Asiago)

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