Monday, May 14, 2012
Remember last week , when I used Swiss chard greens to make gnudi? I promised that I’d be cooking up the Swiss chard stalks too, and sharing the recipe.
For dinner last week I made a quick and easy casserole that not only managed to make good use of the rest of this two-for-one veggie, but also enabled me to use up odd bits of leftover cheese and a hunk of capocollo our neighbor had given us.
It was one of those days when all of the sudden I turned around and it was 8pm. Time for dinner, and too late to do any shopping.
I guess I could have made pasta, then used the chard stalks as a side dish. But I just couldn’t be bothered with two separate courses. (points taken off my Italian wife permit)
So while the stalks were steaming, I grated about a cup and a half of cheese. If you’re anything like me, you probably buy more cheese than is really good for you, right? So you eat a bit, wrap up the rest and then forget about it sitting there in the fridge while you’re out buying yet more cheese. Sound familiar?
So my cup and a half of cheese was the result of three kinds of leftover pecorino. And no, I don’t quite remember where they came from.
And then there was that huge hunk of capocollo that our neighbor in Umbria had given Sophie for Easter. Sophie has a thing about this cut of cured meat, and she was supposed to take it up with her to London. But in the crush of packing extra pairs of shoes into her carry on, I guess she forgot it in the fridge. Her loss.
Once I had ground up the pork, the assembly was easy. After 15 minutes in the oven, the cheese had melted, the pork had let loose its tasty fat, and the entire dish was ready.
I know my mom would probably call this a ‘clean out the fridge’ casserole. But I’m just calling it dinner.
Swiss Chard Stalk Bake
1 1/4 pound of Swiss Chard Stalks (you can use the greens to make gnudi)
1 1/2 cup grated cheese (a mix of pecorino or parmesan is great)
1 cup ground capocollo (you can also use prosciutto)
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Steam the Swiss Chard stalks until just tender. Drain.
Preheat oven to 180C/350F
Drizzle olive oil on the bottom of a baking dish.
Put a layer of stalks on the bottom of the pan.
Scatter the capocollo on top. Then scatter about half the cheese. Add parsley.
Add freshly grated black pepper, and drizzle with more olive oil
Add the final layer of chard, completely covering the first layer.
Add the rest of the cheese, drizzle with more oil and bake for about 20 minutes, until all is browned.