Tag Archives: Swiss Chard

Pasta is easy.  Yes, it is!  You don’t need a pasta machine to make this pasta (although if you have one, go for it).  All you need is a pot, a bowl, a stovetop, and 6 basic ingredients.  And your fingers. If you have a food processor, you’ll have a lot less to do, but you can surely manage without.  This is a really fun dish to make at a potluck or similar gathering where you can employ lots of friendly hands.

2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground black pepper
1 whole large egg and one yolk
1 Tbsp. olive oil (the good stuff, if you’ve got it)
1/2 lb. chard or spinach

De-vein the chard, if using. Parboil the greens: put greens in a pot of boiling water for about a minute until they are wilted, then remove. After they’ve cooled, squeeze dry and chop very fine with knife or food processor. In a bowl, combine flour, salt, and pepper. Make a well and fill with the eggs, oil, and greens; stir until everything is combined and can be kneaded into a cohesive ball. Leave the ball to sit for an hour, covered by a damp towel. It will be dry, but the greens will release moisture as the dough rests.

Flour a flat surface — a tabletop or cookie sheet will work fine. Pinch off quarter-sized pieces of the dough with your fingers, squish until flat, and deposit on the floured surface. Repeat repeat repeat. If this is tedious, roll out the dough as flat as you can get it and cut or tear into shape.

Bring water with olive oil and salt, or broth, if you’d like to make a soup, to a lightly rolling boil. Add your pasta bits and stir to keep them from sticking. Count three to four minutes, checking often to see if the noodles are done (it won’t take long) and serve (if soup) or drain (if not).

These are very nice served simply with butter and grated Parmesan. Though I bet they’d be good with a mushroom sauce, too.

Serves 2-4, depending

This is a variation on the rice with spinach recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s An Invitation to Indian Cooking, and it came about when I had three different kinds of dark leafy green to use up — kale, chard, and collards. I incorporated ricotta cheese in the final step for a bit of heft. The recipe will take much less time with the help of a food processor; otherwise, be prepared for lots of chopping. This would be an excellent side dish to some sort of fleshy or faux-fleshy accompaniment, be it lamb chops or hard-boiled eggs or grilled tempeh or (oh yes!) Quorn.

You will need:
2 cups long-grain brown rice
1 1/2 lb. fresh greens (kale, collards, chard, spinach, beet greens, etc.), washed & stems removed
6 tablespoons ghee or olive oil
2 medium-sized onions
2 1/4 cups stock
1 teaspoon garam masala
3/4 cup crushed unsalted pistachios
1 cup ricotta cheese

Soak rice for at least 2 hours with a teaspoon of salt. When this time has passed, wilt the greens by steaming them or dropping them in a pot of boiling water for a little bit, letting them drip dry in a colander.

Peel and roughly chop your onions, and process them so that they are very fine. Heat the ghee or oil in a 3-4 quart oven-proof casserole. Add the onions and sauté until they are golden; while you are doing this, process the greens until they are a very fine pulp. Add the greens and garam masala to the onions, and sauté over a medium flame for about a half hour.

Preheat the oven to 300°. Drain the rice and add to the greens mixture with the stock. Stir and allow the mixture to come to a boil; lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Test for saltiness.

Stir the pistachios and ricotta in with the rice and greens, and cover the pot with foil. Poke a few holes in to let steam escape. Bake for 30 minutes, then check to see that the rice is cooked. If not, bake 5-10 minutes more.  Serve hot right from the oven, or cook in advance and reheat for 15 minutes.

As Ms. Jaffrey comments, “This is an excellent dish to impress guests with because it tastes very good and looks spectacular.” It does look very nice, and although purists may frown upon the unorthodox addition of ricotta, it tastes very nice too.

6-7 servings

I love these chips so much — they are fast, easy, and have a delicious nutty flavor that makes them slightly addictive.  They’re best eaten soon after baking, before the oil has had a chance to resaturate the leaves (the amount of oil can be reduced by using parchment or a silicone mat).  I find that they are too fragile for dipping, but adding seasoning to the oil can provide a nice flavor boost.  They also make a fine garnish. You may wish to try this recipe with spinach, red kale, or other light weight greens.

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