I apologize for not posting much this week. I’ve been struck down by some type of flu that’s putting me to bed right after work each day. But I didn’t want to leave you for too long without a recipe, in case you’re headed to the farmers market this weekend and might be interested in what to do with a bunch of colorful swissh chard.
I did want to be sure to include a refersher for “how to prep swiss chard”, since there are a lot of new readers that weren’t here for last year’s tutorial. Basically, make sure you cut out the tough center stem (see picture). Generally recipes call for it to be cut into ribbons, which you achieve by stacking the stem-less leaves in a pile, roll into a cigar, and then slice crosswise. Easy-peezy!
A very quick note on making superb Israeli couscous too: toast the dry uncooked couscous in a large skillet until it’s beginning to turn a darker shade of tan. Add to boiling water and proceed as normal. This toasting helps elminate some of the startch that would make the couscous clump otherwise.
Hopefully I’ll be back and raring to go soon! In the meantime, I thought I’d throw out the idea of a Q&A on vegetables you might be seeing in season in your area but don’t know how to prepare. Put your questions in the comments below and I’ll try to collect them all into an informative post.
Three-Cheese Swuss Card Couscous Bake
Adapted from The Six O’Clock Scramble
1 C. uncooked Israeli couscous
1 C. pasta sauce
½ C. grated parmesan cheese
2 C. (about one market bunch) swiss chard, cut into fine ribbons
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ C. low-fat ricotta cheese
¼ t. freshly grated nutmeg
½ C. mozzarella cheese
Preheat oven to 375 F and lightly grease a 9-inch glass pie plate with non-stick spray. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the couscous just until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and put in a medium bowl. To the cooked couscous, add half a cup of the pasta sauce and the parmesan cheese. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Stir and spread the mixture out in the prepared pie plate, reserving about a cup for later.
In another bowl, place a tablespoon or two of water and the cut swiss chard. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for one minute. Remove and drain off water. To the swiss chard, add the eggs, ricotta, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and spread over the pasta in the pie plate. Top with the remaining couscous, spreading as evenly as possible. Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella.
Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese in melted and slightly brown. Serve hot.
(serves 6-8 )