Chard Slaw with Creamy Scallion Dressing
2 English muffins, split in half
2 T. extra-virgin olive oil
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 C. mayonnaise
1 T. Champagne vinegar or white-wine vinegar
1 bunch (about 1 pound) chard
2 C. cantaloupe; peeled, seeded, and cut into 2-inch pieces
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place English muffins on a rimmed baking sheet, brush with oil, and generously season with salt and pepper. Toast in oven until golden but still slightly soft in centers, 16 to 18 minutes. When cool enough to handle, tear into bite-size pieces. Meanwhile, whisk together mayonnaise, scallions, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Remove stems and center ribs from chard with a knife and set aside. Stack a few leaves at a time, roll up like a cigar, and thinly slice crosswise; transfer to a large bowl. Cut chard stems and ribs crosswise into 2-inch pieces, thinly slice lengthwise, and add to bowl with chard. Chard can be prepared up to 1 day ahead, covered with damp paper towels, and stored in refrigerator. Just before serving, toss chard with croutons and cantaloupe; garnish with scallion tops. Serve with dressing.
Swiss Chard Gratin
1 1/2 bunches of chard
1 C. fresh breadcrumbs
2 t. melted butter
2 T. butter
1 onion, diced
2 t. flour
1/2 C. milk
A few strokes of freshly grated nutmeg
Wash and stem the chard. Save half the stems and slice them thin. Bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil and cooked the sliced stems for 2 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and cool. Gently squeeze out the excess liquid from the stems and leaves and coarsely chop them. Toss together the breadcrumbs and the melted butter. Toast on a baking sheet in a 350-degree oven, stirring now and then, until lightly brown, about 10 minutes. Melt 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the diced onion. Cook over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard and season with salt. Cook for 3 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and stir well. Then add the milk and nutmeg and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more milk if the mixture gets too thick. The chard should be moist but not floating in liquid. Taste and add salt if needed. Butter a small baking dish. Spread the chard mixture evenly in the dish and dot with the remaining butter, cut into bits. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs evenly over the top. Bake in a 350-degree oven until the gratin is golden and bubbling, 20 to 30 minutes.
Sorrel & Summer Squash Salad
Notes: Serves 4
2 small zucchini or other summer squash
3 green onion bulbs with about 3 inches of stem
1 large tomato
2 cup sorrel leaves, stems removed
1 cup dried chickpeas/garbanzo beans (if you want to use canned, use 1 can or 2 cups, and let them sit in a bowl in the fridge for a few hours with the bay leaf and cinnamon stick. It won’t be quite the same, but it will be close)
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
3 Tbsp olive oil (enough to liberally coat the bottom of a large pan)
juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup plain yogurt
Soak the dried chickpeas overnight or for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse, then put in a large pot with plenty of water, the bay leaf, and the cinnamon stick. Do not salt the water- this will inhibit the peas from softening. Bring to a low boil and maintain for 90 minutes to two hours. Drain and rinse, removing and discarding the cinnamon stick and bay leaf. Dice the squash into roughly 1/2 inch cubes, and chop the onion. In a large frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat, and then dump in the cumin and coriander. Fry for about 30 seconds-1 minute, or until the spices begin to smell fragrant. Add the squash and onion to the pan and fry until the squash is softening and browning around the edges. Don’t stir much- the more you simply let the squash sit in the oil, the better the browning, which is what creates a lot of the flavor. Add the salt and pepper to your own taste. While the squash cooks, prepare the sorrel and tomato. Rinse the sorrel well and tear it roughly into smaller pieces. Core the tomato and chop it into 1-inch pieces. When the squash is cooked, add the lemon juice and cook a little while longer, then remove from heat. Stir in the sorrel and the tomato, letting the heat wilt the sorrel, and allow to cool for a few minutes. Pour the chickpeas and the squash mixture into the same serving bowl, and then add the yogurt. Mix well and serve, or chill and serve later.
Summer Squash Shreds with Basil, Sorrel, & Chives
Notes: Squash that is shredded, salted and drained stays crisp and bright.
1 1/2 pounds tender (summer) squash
1 tsp salt
1 T olive oil
1 T corn oil
1/4 cup thin-sliced basil leaves
1/4 cup thin-sliced sorrel leaves
1 T thin-sliced chives
Salt and pepper
Scrub squashes and trim stems. Using a julienne blade of food processor or cutter, slice squash into very fine strips. Toss with salt and drain in a colander. Top bowl with a plate and let stand about an hour, tossing now and then to drain. Squeeze squash dry. Fluff with a fork. Spread on paper towels. Heat oils in a skillet over high heat. Add squash and toss until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove skillet from heat. Add basil, sorrel, and chives. Toss to distribute. Season. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Zucchini Spice Cake
3 cups grated unpeeled zucchini
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9×13 inch pan.Place grated zucchini in a colander and set aside to drain. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, white sugar, brown sugar, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl until well blended. Beat the eggs, applesauce, oil, and vanilla in a separate bowl until smooth. Fold in the flour mixture, then stir in the zucchini. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 45 to 55 minutes. Allow to cool completely before cutting.
Notes: Best eaten on lettuce leaves.
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, or to taste
3/4 cup medium-coarse bulgur; cracked wheat (you can buy this at most grocery stores)
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
1 medium cucumber, unpeeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup chopped sorrel
1/4 cup flavorful, extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
To tame the raw, chopped onion, soak it in cold water for 30 minutes, then rinse and drain. Meanwhile, pour boiling water over the bulgur and let it stand until it softens, about 15 minutes. Drain water that has not been absorbed. Stir together the onions, tomato, cucumber, herbs and bulgur. Toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Chill before serving.
Sorrel Puree & Sauce
Gently simmer several cups of chopped sorrel in a tablespoon or two of water, until the large leaves are reduced like cooked spinach. Just a tiny amount of steam will begin to wilt several handfuls of sorrel, which effectively make their own sauce. Stir in a pat or two of butter and remove from heat. Purée the mixture in a blender. Finish with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve hot or cold. Transform this sorrel purée into a velvety sauce by adding an ounce or two of cream per cup of sauce along with minced fresh herbs such as mint, parsley, sage or thyme. Sorrel sauce is lovely drizzled over roasted meats and poultry, as well as over grilled, baked, poached or pan-fried fish. Shad, an oily member of the herring family, is a classic French pairing for sorrel sauce.
1 quart fresh (or frozen) strawberries, hulled
2/3 C. raw sugar
1/4 C. finely copped sorrel
In a mixing bowl, stir together the strawberries and sugar. Cover and set aside for one hour. Purée strawberries with their juices and the sorrel in a blender, the press the mix through a sieve to remove seeds and large pieces of sorrel. Chill mix in the fridge for an hour. Freeze according to your ice cream maker’s instructions. Or pop the mix into a shallow, freezer-safe pan and freeze it. Scrap with a fork to break up ice crystals every 1/2 hour until fully frozen, about 4 – 6 hours.