Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Cleaning Out the Cupboards

When I was making up my shopping list last week, I looked around the kitchen to see what I had on hand. I spotted some dry lentils and remembered a tasty recipe from Cooking Light— Bacon, Onion and Brown Lentil Skillet.
I’d never enjoyed lentils all that much until I made this recipe. And this is one of those recipes that may not sound all that appetizing, but once you smell the onions hitting the bacon grease, you know it’s going to be great.
In addition to the lentils, I also had some carrots, chicken broth, bacon and lots of fresh thyme. So I knew it’d be an economical meal that I could round out with produce from Persephone Farm. So we grabbed Persephone onions, garlic and parsley for this dish — and some Swiss chard and shallot to go on the side. I used some of the extra bacon grease to cook the chard in, too. Below is my variation of a recipe handed out at the Persephone stand.

Tasty Sautéed Greens
Feel free to use kale or collards instead of the Swiss chard. And you can use a combination of onion and garlic instead of shallot. Serves 2.
1 bunch Swiss chard, chopped and thoroughly washed
2 tablespoons bacon grease or olive oil
¼ cup shallot, sliced
salt to taste
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
a splash balsamic vinegar
Bring 1 cup water to boil in a 4-quart stockpot. Stir in chard, reduce heat, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Add grease or oil to large skillet over medium heat. Add shallot and red pepper flakes, cook, stirring, until shallot is tender, about 4 minutes. Add greens to skillet and reserved cooking water. Add salt to taste, sauté about 10 minutes or until desired degree of softness. Finish with a splash of balsamic vinegar. Serve and enjoy!

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