Thursday, July 3, 2008

Emerald broth, ochre beets, and other olitory* indulgences

My soup recipes are hardly the sort that belong among the culinary masterpieces of Wolfgang Puck. If I'm lucky, my creations might someday qualify for publication on the back of a rusty, dusty, dented Campbell's soup can, the sort that one might find hidden behind the eerie, pickled remains of once-ambulating porcine limbs (pig's feet and soup cans are disconcertingly juxtaposed at my nearest grocer). That said, I do love cabbage, and I'm rather proud of my seemingly bottomless pot of emerald broth and nourishing, rubbery foliage. Throw in a few sliced yellow beets and a sprinkle of salt, or perhaps a nugget or three of some free-range antibiotic-free chicken sausage (for carnivorous folks, of which I am not, except for those every third mondays or so when I partake in the luxury of a meleagrine** indulgence; but keep that between you, me, and the lamppost).

*Of, like, or pertaining to kitchen vegetables.

**Of, like, or pertaining to turkeys. If you've ever felt the urge to use absurd vocabulary like cnidarian (of, like, or pertaining to a jellyfish), I'll share with you my most coveted secret:

Swiss Chard as Spanakopita

We used up two weeks' worth of chard by making a modified Spanakopita! We found a whole wheat phyllo dough and used a "light" butter-like substance spray. It is best served fresh but I have been eating it for lunch as well. I used the leftover phyllo dough to make breakfast quiches with some of the kale, purple basil, etc.


2 1/4 cups minced white onion
3/4 cup minced green onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
9 cups chopped trimmed Swiss chard (about 1 1/2 pounds)
6 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint
1 cup (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup (2 ounces) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 large egg whites
10 (18 x 14-inch) sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 350°.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add white onion; sauté 7 minutes or until golden. Add green onions and garlic, and sauté 1 minute. Stir in chard; cook 2 minutes or until chard wilts. Stir in parsley and mint, and cook 1 minute. Place in a large bowl; cool slightly. Stir in cheeses, salt, pepper, and egg whites.

Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying), and coat with cooking spray. Top with 1 phyllo sheet, and coat with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with 3 additional sheets.

Cut phyllo stack into a 14-inch square. Place square in center of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, allowing phyllo to extend up long sides of dish. Cut 14 x 4-inch piece into 2 (7 x 4-inch) rectangles. Fold each rectangle in half lengthwise. Place a rectangle against each short side of dish. Spread the chard mixture evenly over phyllo.

Place 1 phyllo sheet on a large cutting board (cover remaining phyllo to prevent drying), and coat with cooking spray. Top with 1 phyllo sheet, and coat with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining phyllo sheets. Place 18 x 14-inch phyllo stack over chard mixture. Fold phyllo edges into center. Coat with cooking spray. Score phyllo by making 2 lengthwise cuts and 3 crosswise cuts to form 12 rectangles. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until golden.

Note: Cut the phyllo stacks so they fit in and up the long side of the baking dish. Arrange folded section against short edges of dish to encase filling.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

What to do with all these greens?

welcome all CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members at JHSPH and beyond to the one veggie at a time blog (protecting health, saving lives....). a place to share ideas, recipes, resources, etc. for what to do with all the greens and the many other common and exotic veggies we get each week. please use this space to share with and learn from our fellow organic veggie lovers in East Baltimore.

So i will begin with a little something i invented that i am pretty proud mind you i rarely measure so you'll have to wing it but since this isn't a souffle you'll be fine!

chard and potato gratin: slice small potatoes about 1/4 inch thick and blanch. shock in cold water to stop cooking and set aside. saute minced garlic and chopped onions in olive oil. once onions are translucent add chard (stems removed) and a little bit of water to steam. season with salt and pepper. in a small casserole or baking dish put a layer of the chard mixture down. cover the layer with shredded parmesan. arrange a flat layer of potatoes on top making sure to cover all the chard mixture and season with salt and pepper. cover with another layer of parmesan and repeat. end with a layer of parmesan. bake covered in a 350 degree oven for about 15 mins. remove cover and let bake another few minutes to allow the cheese to get all bubbly and yummy. enjoy!

now it's your turn to share...