Wednesday, March 6, 2013

purple, again2


purple, again


I've had an adventurous series of days since we last spoke. From handling the limp body of a dead baby lamb last Saturday, to riding shotgun in a prop plane across the Caribbean sea. We're just going to leave it there talk about something as mundane as my culinary pursuits tonight. Because the fact that I'm cooking on a real stove, with real ingredients feels like the best big deal in the world, and you'll get something out of this, if you follow. Promise.

All my brooklyn bitches know by now that Fairway in Red Hook has reopened (after being decimated by Hurricane Sandy) and it's changing peoples universes across the borough, I'm sure. I'm excited but also sort of cranky about it -- it means that Nea and I can't use Van Brunt Street as our personal catwalk anymore -- a steady stream of speeding motorists desperate for their imported cheeses and lamb sausage (as are we, as. are. we.) returned to our sleepy streets as if a switch had been turned back on. Welcome back my fine, far flung friends..welcome back! I hope you all stop at my big plant sale in a few weeks...stay tuned. And please watch out for me emerging suddenly from between parked cars looking cranky and walking a cheerful raccoon on a leash.

But back to my culinary delights! With infinite grocery options now a mere three blocks away I found myself in a decision-making meltdown. I like to think that the powerful women of the world, the Hillary Clintons, the Christine Quinn's the Sheryl Sandbergs are faced with similar inconsequential pangs of domestic indecisiveness in their free time as they Lean In to their shopping and grocery lists. Jesus. (I'm working on my own little feminist manifesto in response to this Sandberg shit, so stay tuned for that as well.)

Last night I defaulted to one of my favorite nine o'clock fifteen dollar dinners. I can't take credit for this, it was maybe the first meal we ever shared with Russell and Sara back in the days when we had a social life. His always tastes better in my memory. But last night when I made it for the two of us - after surviving the crowded catwalk and the paralyzing indecision meltdown - it tasted pretty good.


Swiss chard is my favorite green, most days. We grew it half heartedly at the farm this summer, and cut it as microgreens for a fish garnish. Actually we didn't really use it as a fish garnish, but that would have been ideal. Swiss chard is naturally rather salty and earthy and makes a good foil for the sweet lemon-laced ricotta. I grate a lot of pecarino on top and then a drizzle of olive oil just because I can. If you can, buy the white ribbed or yellow ribbed chard -- the red ribbed chard will make the ricotta turn pink and make the plate a bit unsightly, though equally delicious.

2 bunches of swiss chard washed and chopped in 1 inch pieces

[With water still clinging, steam the chard for 7 minutes or till mostly wilted. Then add...]

5 cloves of finely chopped garlic and
a a few tablespoons of olive oil and
a sprinkling of salt and
a big sprinkling of pepper flakes

[let that all cook on medium together for around 5 minutes. Then empty the cooked chard into a bowl and set aside. Fill the cooking pot with water and get that water boiling while you check email and pour a glass of wine. When the water boils, salt it heavily and add...)

a pound of rigatoni

[While the rigatoni cooks...]

a pound of ricotta and mix in...

the zest of half a lemon and
a tablespoon or two of olive oil and
salt to taste

[Drain the pasta rather quickly, leaving a little water still clinging to it. Mix the chard into the pasta and then add in the ricotta mixture. late with the grated cheese and a drizzle of olive oil as I mentioned above.]


Unknown said...

And now I know what's for dinner! We grow a ton of beautiful "Bright Lights' Swiss chard in our garden, but I just got burnt out on it this winter--and uninspired with how I was preparing it. Thanks for the new recipe!

Lisa said...

So glad Fairway's back. And excited to know more about this plant sale!

Jo said...

That sounds really enticing to me. The simpler things are making me happier these days. I have no Swiss chard, but I'm off to fix up some kale for lunch now.

Clare Day Flowers said...

The photo of the magnolia made me cry. Such insane beauty.

Amanda said...

I really want to read this manifesto!!!

Mlle Paradis said...

always good to have a new swiss chard recipe! looks yummy. and yup, even we in LA learned all about it when fairway reopened. it's a small world.

Saya said...

Were you peeping into my shopping basket by any chance? Because last week I bought rigatoni and Swiss chard too, two things that I hardly ever buy. In fact I bought the chard as a replacement for spinach to make spinach soup as the store didn't have enough spinach. It was delish if I say so myself. Saute onion and garlic in butter and olive oil, add greens, chicken or veggie stock to cover and a couple of diced potatoes, whizz when potatoes are done, add a dash of cream and Bob's your uncle. Maybe some fresh grated nutmeg too. Best to cut potatoes small as cooking too long discolours the greens. And don't cover the saucepan as that will do the same.

Frosted Glass said...

Glad to be here in this floral beauty. Love it.

Anonymous said...

I love your dog.

Mikey F. said...

Loving the pictures. Your dog is BEAUTIFUL. The recipe sound soo yummy.

Mikey F.

count buckula said...

dear sarah, miss you.

beth said...

Delish. It will be made in my kitchen.

Marimardepp said...

I am so drawn to your pictures. For me they look like one of those paintings I can see at a museum of ''Still Life''. You have a gift with arrangements and with the camera.

Anne-Marie said...

Absolutely stunning!

Unknown said...

the photos are stunningly beautiful.. you got a good lens out there.
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