Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chard Bundles with Tomato and Mozzarella

Yesterday, I felt like I never had a good plan for the day. By 4pm we were so hot we packed up and headed for the pool where we stayed well past 6pm with no plan for dinner – the no plan for dinner part is very unlike me. When we got home I was glad I had hard boiled some eggs and remembered bread at the store. The kids were thrilled with the eggs, toast, and some cherry tomatoes. I wanted just a little more for dinner and have had these bundles on my mind, didn’t think they could take too long – so I went for it. They were a quick, tasty side dish. Lo and Behold I’ve also found a way my husband thinks chard has value. I love chard, him - not so much.

NPR had a great story about Meatless Monday yesterday. They pointed out how after a weekend of fun and indulgence, Monday is often a good time to look again at our habits. They cover the health benefits and the sustainability issues that Meatless Monday tries to promote. They also discuss wanting Meatless Monday to be for everyone – and not just an elitist issue. Finally, they talk with a representative of the meat industry to round out the story. Check it out.

Meatless Monday Menu – Hard Boiled Eggs, Toast, Chard Bundles
Farm Share Produce – Chard
Other Local Produce – Tomatoes

Chard Bundles with Tomato and Mozzarella
Adapted from http://www.marthastewart.com/recipe/swiss-chard-bundles-with-tomato-and-mozarella-filling

The original recipe makes 12 bundles, but the ratio of chard leaf, tomato slice, and mozzarella slice is 1:1:1. I only made 4 last night, make what you need.

4 large chard leaves
4 tomato slices, ¼ inch thick
4 mozzarella slices, ¼ inch thick
Salt, to taste
Crushed red pepper, to taste
Extra-virgin olive oil, brushing and drizzling

Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Set aside. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add one leaf at a time to boiling water, and blanch for 10 seconds. Place each leaf in ice bath to cool. Transfer to prepared baking sheet to drain.

Place a blanched leaf facedown on work surface. Cut out thickest part of stalk to about 1/3 the length of the leaf. Place a slice of tomato in center of leaf; top with a slice of cheese. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and drizzle with oil. Fold bottom of leaf over contents. Fold in sides. Fold leaf over to completely enclose contents. Repeat with remaining leaves, tomatoes, and mozzarella.

Heat a grill pan over medium heat. Brush lightly with oil. Grill packets until lightly charred and heated through, about 2 minutes per side. Drizzle with olive oil. Serve immediately.

NOTE: the directions are the original. My folding process was whatever happened, and not so precise. I prefer crushed red pepper, but salt and fresh ground pepper would be great too.

I saved the picture till the end because they weren’t very pretty, but I think a picture of how the food turned out is important. They didn’t have a picture with the original recipe, or I’d have sent you there. The nice drizzling effect of the cheese, yeah that just happened as I moved the bundle from the grill to the plate.

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