7095 GA Hwy 155 N
Ellenwood, GA 30294

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Green Garlic, Swiss Chard, and Kale

Green Garlic
Green garlic is simply garlic that is harvested before the bulb fully matures. T
he resulting vegetable resembles a green onion with a deep green stalk and a pale white bulb. The flavor of green garlic is milder and less bitter than fully mature garlic. The whole plant including the leaves can be used. For more information and recipes such as Linguine with Green Garlic Clam Sauce and Artichokes with Green Garlic Dip, please see Garlic Defanged by Daniel Patterson.

Green Garlic and Leek Risotto


2 medium leeks, white parts only

3 green garlic bulbs (white part), trimmed and chopped

2 Tbs. unsalted butter

1/4 cup white wine

Salt and pepper

6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock, simmering

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups Carnaroli or Arborio rice

1/2 cup white wine

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/2 cup chopped parsley, and/or leftover green garlic tops

Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Quarter leeks lengthwise, cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, and wash well. Remove any tough, papery husks from garlic, then finely chop bulbs. Melt butter in a saute pan. Add leeks and garlic, stir to coat, then add wine and cook over medium-low heat until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside while you cook the rice.

Your stock should be simmering on the stove. Melt butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring for 1-2 minutes until the rice becomes slightly translucent on its outer shell and you hear popping sounds. Add wine and simmer until it is absorbed, then add 3 cups of the stock. Simmer until it has been absorbed, stirring every few minutes; then raise heat to medium and begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time. Stir continuously and continue adding liquid after each addition is absorbed. Rice is done when tender with a slight bite, about 30-35 minutes. Stir in leeks, cheese and herbs. Taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Lasagna with Swiss Chard


1 generous bunch Swiss chard (about 1lb.)

1/2 pound fresh or dry lasagna noodles

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 (28-ounce) can peeled Italian plum tomatoes (San Marzano) with sauce

Pinch of sugar

1 large basil sprig

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup fresh ricotta cheese

1/3 to 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Salt to taste

Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil while you prepare the chard. Fill a separate bowl with ice water. Remove the stems from the Swiss chard and set aside for another use. When the water comes to a boil, add the Swiss chard leaves. Boil 1 minute, then remove from the water with a slotted spoon or skimmer and transfer to the ice water to stop the cooking process. Drain and squeeze out excess water. Chop coarsely and set aside. Cook the lasagna noodles in the same pot of water. Remove the pasta from the pot and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil in a bowl so they don't stick together.

Chop the canned tomatoes into medium dice, reserve sauce. In a wide, nonstick frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, just until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and their juice, sugar, basil sprig, and salt (begin with 1/2 teaspoon and add more later), and bring to a simmer. Simmer, stirring often, until thick, 15 to 25 minutes, depending on the amount of juice in the pan. Taste and adjust seasonings. Remove the basil sprig. Stir in the Swiss chard and remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Oil a square or rectangular baking dish (no bigger than 2-quart) and line the bottom with a layer of lasagna noodles. Spread half the ricotta over the noodles and half the tomato-chard sauce over the ricotta. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons Parmesan over the tomato-chard sauce. Add another layer of noodles and top with the remaining ricotta and tomato-chard sauce, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Finish with a layer of noodles and the remaining Parmesan. Drizzle the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Cover the dish tightly with foil. Bake 30 minutes, or until bubbling and the pasta is tender. Uncover, allow to sit for 5 minutes, and serve.

Pasta with Kale, Sage, and Potatoes

2 Tbs unsalted butter

2 large garlic cloves, smashed

5 sage leaves
, thinly sliced
1 bunch kale
, coarsley chopped
1 cup finely diced yukon potatoes

1/2 lb strozzapreti
or gemelli or another twisted pasta
2 1/2 oz Italian fontina cheese, grated

freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano

salt and pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water with a colander insert to boil. Meanwhile, heat butter, garlic, and sage in small skillet over medium heat until butter is lightly browned and nutty smelling.
Remove the garlic. When the water comes to a boil, add the salt and potatoes. Boil for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Remove the potatoes and set aside. Boil the kale until tender ~4-6 minutes. Remove the kale and squeeze out the excess water. Cook the pasta until al dente; drain and add the kale, potatoes, and butter sage sauce. Add the cheeses and toss to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.