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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Harvest Time...Chard...Carrots!

Back in June, I planted these seeds in my raised bed in my urban back yard.

I've been harvesting rainbow chard and carrots from my little raised bed lately. They are so colorful, it makes me happy. Here's my recipe for chard casserole. I made this up because most of the recipes I found used only the leaves and told you to toss the stems. This upset my "wasting food is a sin" mentality. Anyhow, read on and you can make it too.

I used about 2 large bunches of rainbow chard for this recipe. Separate the stems from the leaves. I like to use kitchen scissors for this. Wash the chard. Dry and chop the stems and one onion and saute in a little olive oil until everything's translucent. Pour the mixture into an oiled baking dish and spread evenly with a spatula.

Sprinkle this mixture with a little salt and pepper and shake on some plain breadcrumbs and grated parmesan cheese to lightly cover. This forms sort of a "crust" or base for the casserole.

Next, lift the leaves from the water you've washed them in and tear in pieces and shake off most of the water and place them in the same saute pan. Cook, turning with tongs, until wilted.

Remove the cooked leaves from the pan with tongs, shaking off most of the moisture. Distribute the leaves evenly on top of the stem base and pat down to even the top. Sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper and some freshly ground nutmeg.

Now top the leaves with some grated cheese. I like to use gruyere because it has a nice nutty flavor that complements the chard.

Beat some eggs. I normally would have used 6-8 eggs for this size (9" x 13") pan, but I only had 5 so, 5 it is! Pour the eggs evenly around the dish. Top with some pine nuts for added visual appeal and crunch. Now bake this puppy in a 350 oven for 30-45 minutes, until the cheese on top starts to get golden brown.

If you stick a knife in the center of the casserole, it should come out clean. If not, bake a little longer. Let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting into squares to serve.

I roasted the whole carrots in the oven at the same time and marinated and grilled some chops for this dinner. We served it with Toasted Head Chardonnay, which I like because it has a weird name and an illustration of a bear spewing flames on the label. Normally I don't buy it because it is too expensive, but Safeway had it on sale last week.

I usually serve the chard casserole as a main dish, but these chops needed to be cooked that day. It's really good as a brunch dish, especially good to bring to a potluck too. It's good served warm or at room temperature. It reheats very well. There's still some left if you want to come over for lunch.

What blog post would be complete without some pictures of Ace? Here he is at 6 months old now, getting big and getting into everything. Yesterday I opened the refrigerator and he went right in, straight to the back.

I'm thinking of planting some fava beans for a winter crop. I'd like to grow some different colored beets too. My beets grew so fast this time.

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