Sunday, May 17, 2009

Easy lunch for a hot day

Thanks so much to everyone who came out for the Farm Fair yesterday! All of us interns got to strut our stuff and share some of what we've learned in our time here. We all had a great time despite the heat, and we hope you did too.

I want to share a couple recipes that I just got typed up today -- right after we had them both for lunch. They're sooooo easy and delicious, perfect for a hot, lazy Sunday. =D

Savory Wilted Chard

These hearty greens are wilted pretty quickly, and then they're braised briefly with a flavorful dressing. We like chard for this dish because it requires minimal preparation (no tough stems to remove), and because it seems to hold its shape after wilting better than kale or spinach. Serves 4
  • 1 tablespoon hot mustard -- dijon is nice
  • 1 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoons flavorful red wine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shoots green garlic, chopped
  • 1 cayenne pepper, chopped
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon honey
  • cooking oil, to cover bottom of pan
  • 1 lb swiss chard, sliced horizontally into 1-inch strips
  1. Combine mustard, soy sauce, wine, olive oil, garlic, cayenne, pepper, and optional honey in a small bowl and beat until combined.
  2. Brush oil on a wide pan or pour out a small amount, just enough for a thin layer, and place over medium-low heat.
  3. When oil is heated (you can tell because it will "shimmer" slightly) add a large handful of chard. Cook until the chard begins to wilt, about a minute, and then stir until the chard has lost considerable volume.
  4. Push chard to the outside of the pan, apply more oil if necessary, and add another handful of chard to the center of the pan. Cook this next batch as before.
  5. Repeat the previous li, being sure the stir the already wilted greens occasionally to avoid burning, until all the chard has been wilted.
  6. Stir in the mustard mixture, boost the heat to medium-high, and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Allow to cook for 2 minutes.
  7. Remove lid and continue to cook, stirring, until liquid has thickened to your liking.
  8. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately. You can also let it cool to eat at room-temperature -- this is best if you've added the optional honey, otherwise it might taste somewhat sour.

Tomato Couscous

The tomato sauce we sell at the Green String store is an unflavored, no-funny-business sort of product, so you can just as easily make pasta sauce as soup, or, my favorite, a big pile of tomato-infused couscous. If you keep your pantry stocked, you can make this dish in less than 10 minutes. You can also class it up a bit by sweating some leeks or green garlic in the pan before adding the sauce, but it's delicious without it too. Serves 2-4
  • 1 pint tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • leaves from 1 or 2 sprigs dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • (optional) 1 dried cayenne pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 cups quick-cooking couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • (optional) grated Parmesean cheese or nutritional yeast
  1. Place tomato sauce, vinegar, oregano, salt, and optional cayenne in a small saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, and bring to a simmer.
  2. Add couscous and briefly stir to combine. Cover and turn off heat.
  3. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and add olive oil, pepper, and adjust seasoning. Serve and top with nutritional yeast for an umami taste or Parmesean for something more traditional.


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