A Chard Day’s Night

In my pantry today:

  • 6 leaves rainbow chard, stems removed
  • adversity-busting cheese filling*
  • essentially from scratch tomato sauce*
  • 2 c cooked gluten-free pasta shells

I am still trying to reconstitute my internal routine/schedule after a day in the ER last week; apparently on the comprehensive wine list of mismatched symptoms held by MS, nerves at the bottom of your brain stem can misfire and make you think your innards have been set ablaze by Pol Pot himself. You’ll only be able to suspect Pot, however, because your eyeballs will be spasming too hard to see his face. Oh, the delights of an invisible illness! But I digress. It felt wonderful to get back into the kitchen today even if what came out was a nonsensical mess.

The rest of the CSA stock from this past week needs clearing out and I had some open boxes of lasagna noodles in the cupboard… so I gleefully set about making a version inspired by Om Nomalicious’s Spinach Lasagna Rolls. It was going to be so much fun! Oh, except I didn’t check the lasagna boxes until after making the filling and sauce. Those noodles were so very broken; my heart too became as such upon their viewing.

But I had all these big leaves of chard uncut in the drainer behind me. They were big. And in need of justification through consumption. Just like this delicious cheese filling and that from-(mostly)-scratch tomato sauce.

Adversity-Busting  Cheese Filling*:

  • 1 c ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 c mozzerella cheese
  • 1/4 c Parmesan cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp ground golden flax
  • 1/4 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp olive oil

This was made with all the joy of one who believes they are making lasagna. Mince your garlic and cook on ML in 1 tsp of olive oil for 10-15m. Add thyme and oregano shortly before removing it from heat and adding it to a bowl with all of your other ingredients. Set aside via refrigeration.

Essentially from scratch tomato sauce*:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 ripe tomatoes
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 Vidalia onion, diced chunky
  • 1/4 c red wine
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp hot red chili powder

Cook your onions and garlic on L-ML for 20-30m before adding thyme and oregano. Mix everything, then fold in your now-diced tomatoes. Let that come to a boil then splash in your red wine and let it return on M to a slow bubbling place. Add the can of tomatoes, turmeric and hot red chili powder; mix and let return to a gentle boil until as much of the soupiness mists off as you’d like. I gave mine about 20 minutes before being too impatient to let it thicken further.

And about right here is where I turn this from a delicious, first-class meal into a terrible abomination of textures. Everything up until now is stellar… but when layered using raw chard leaves in place of lasagna noodles, this dish crashes and burns. I imagine it was fun enough to play scientist about all this… and it did still have a delicious flavor. Not gon’ lie, I ate two servings. But because I could not look it in the eye while eating it this only gets 2 spoons. Shame! [EDIT: I hear it deserves more than 2 spoons]

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8 responses to “A Chard Day’s Night

  1. I say next time try shredding the chard and mixing it with the cheese filling. I do that with spinach in my lasagna, which I have sometimes made (just for us) with totally broken noodles. Just cooked them up and strained them and layered them like a mosaic between tomato sauce and cheese layers.

    • I had planned on doing something like that… but after being so heartbroken that I wouldn’t be making lasagna rolls I wanted to spite the broken noodles by showing them I didn’t need them noways. Instead I cut off my own nose.

  2. Oh, boo! I hate when things don’t turn out the way I hope they will! It was a learning experience, though. That’s what I always tell myself!

    • Yeah, the only silver lining I can find is “learning experience!” To be fair to myself, I’d never cooked with chard before, but I’m trying to find any other alternative to “put it in a salad” with all the greens I’m getting right now (I’m not complaining about that AT all)!

  3. This looks fantastic! I have a recipe that reminds me of your delicious dish. http://inherchucks.com/2011/10/08/chard-rocks/. There is a good chance I will be receiving chard in my box this week and there is no doubt I will be giving this recipe a whirl! Thanks for sharing :)

    ps: I would love for you to add this to my CSA link party :) http://inherchucks.com/2012/05/10/whats-in-the-box-25/. It is such a creative use of chard and will no doubt inspire others!

  4. Pingback: What’s in the Box? #29 « In Her Chucks

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