Monday, June 27, 2016

Good To The Last: Chard Pesto on Toast

Using every last bit of the chard...
This may not be the prettiest thing to ever come out of my kitchen... but it's definitely one of the cheapest... and best tasting!

Today I have a couple of questions for you:
  1. Do you sometimes find yourself with a boatload of Swiss Chard?
  2. Are you left wondering what to do with all the thick stems from that chard?
I've been in that boat on more than one occasion. I used to just toss them into the freezer and add them to the pot when I made stock, but now I have another trick up my sleeve... Chard Pesto.

I first read about this simple and delicious stuff a few years ago in the book, An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler... and I haven't tossed a single stem in my stockpot ever since. 

Chard Pesto
Not really a recipe, more like just a thing you do when you have a big bunch of chard stems...
  1. Cut them up, then throw them in a pan with some butter or oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.
  2. Cook them down a fair bit, adding a little water and a lid in the beginning.
  3. Check and give it a stir now and then to see how it's coming along, removing the lid when mostly done.
  4. Take it off the heat once "they" become an "it" (soft and mushy and thick enough to stand on its own)
  5. Let cool it down some (too hot and it will steam the toast, making it soggy).
  6. Pile it onto pieces of toast made from good sturdy bread and grate some Romano or Parm over the top.
It's the kind of thing that is so lacking in attractiveness that you won't want to make it for guests. Once you taste it though, you really won't want to share anyway... so it's just as well. I should also add that it makes a mighty fine dinner on a day when you don't want to spend a lot of time cooking.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Blueberries: All's Fair In Love And War

Early June 2016
My Backyard    

Dear Jay, 

I know that no amount of sunflower seeds can take the place of a warm and juicy ripe blueberry bursting in your beak. On this we can agree. But while I respect your above-average avian intelligence, you are, for a few weeks out of every year, my adversary.

Sincerely yours,


P.S. This is war.