About This Blog

This is, as the title indicates, my kitchen notebook (the header is actually a scanned image of the cover of a notebook that I started using about 25 years ago and the background is a stained page from that book). I am not a professional recipe writer. If you try any recipe here, please keep that in mind, these recipes have not been tested by an independent tester. The "recipes" are often not even really recipes but rather a list of ingredients that I've noted after preparing a dish on the fly that I thought came out well. Perhaps I've also added some instructions, but I rarely keep accurate track of what I've done in terms of time or temperature, I've just noted to the best of my memory (feeble) what I did.

Please feel free to take some inspiration from here, but on the other hand, please give credit where it is due. I also welcome any constructive comments that you might have if you are inspired to try a recipe. Questions are welcome, but keep in mind that I may not remember specifics. The dishes do evolve over time...

Thank you and enjoy!

Lemony Chard with Carrot, Cumin, and Raisins

I didn't weigh or measure anything when I prepared this dish but that shouldn't matter too much. I started with a bunch of chard that weighed in at just over 3 pounds, 1.75 pounds of which were stems and separated the leaves and stems. This dish used only the leafy green parts and only a little more than half of that. The leaves were prepped by cutting them off the stalks, stacking the leaf halves and then cutting those halves in half again both crosswise and lengthwise, stacking them again and cutting crosswise into about 2" X 1/2" ribbons. But you can chop you leaves any way you like. I spun the chopped leaves in a salad spinner to remove the excess washing water; this prevents the end dish from being too watery.

A note about meyer lemon peels - unlike "regular" lemon peels, they are sweet, even the white pith. Don't just use the thin zest in this dish, be sure to use a good amount of the white part. You could use the peel from both lemons if you like, I only used one because my husband will only tolerate just so much citrus peel in his food. (Even the rats know meyer peels are tasty, I've often found completely skinned lemons hanging in my meyer lemon tree, the rats leave the juicy parts behind.)

  • Chopped chard leaves - I guess about 8 cups or so
  • About 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated on the large wholes of a box grater
  • 1/4 of a medium sized sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 small meyer lemons, remove the peel from one lemon in thick strips with a vegetable peeler and cut the strips crosswise into slivers, reserve the juice of both lemons
  • About 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Make a sofrito by heating a few tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, at least 12 inches, over medium heat. Add the cumin seed and let them sizzle briefly. Add the carrots and onion and saute for a few minutes. Cover the skillet and turn the heat to low; cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the carrots become tender. Uncover the skillet and add the lemon peel and raisins, stir to mix and then add a few handfuls of the chard, toss (tongs work well for this) to mix the chard into the sofrito, continue to add handsful of chard, tossing to turn the raw chard to the bottom on the mix, until you can't squeeze anymore chard into the pan. Cover the skillet to help the chard wilt, tossing occasionally, until all the chard is wilted. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and add lemon juice to taste. Serve immediately.

Makes about 4 servings.

You can make this with both the leafy greens and the stems. Separate the leaves and stems and prep the leafy parts as above. Cut the stems crosswise into about 1/4 to 1/3-inch slivers and add them to the sofrito. Then finish cooking the dish as above.

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