Posted (Lori) in News


When it’s 95 degrees out, I try to keep cooking times to a minimum. In each of these recipes, the heat is on for less than 10 minutes–in a few of them, the water for the pasta is boiling while something is broiling, but in most, there is very little cooking. And I’ve tried to find recipes that are simple and cooling. Fortunately, the vegetables in our share this week—cabbage, cucumber, currants—are just right for cooling, hot-weather recipes.


SAUTEED SWISS CHARD–and five ways to use it

1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pinch dry crushed red pepper
2 bunches swiss chard, stems trimmed, leaves cut into 1/2-inch-wide pieces
1/2 lemon, juice of

Melt butter and oil in heavy large pan over medium-low heat. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Add Swiss chard; stir to coat.  Cover and cook until tender (stirring occasionally) about 8 minutes. Squeeze juice from 1/2 lemon onto chard. Season to taste with salt.

Using Sautéed Swiss Chard:

1. Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms: Clean 2 portobellos and remove stems. Broil for about 1 minute; remove from oven. Pack the portobello caps with the prepared chard. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Return to oven and broil for about 2 minutes. Cut in half or in quarters.

2. Chard with quick-cooking grains. For a main dish, mix the chard with grains that cook in under ten minutes

–Bulgur: Combine one part bulgar with three parts water. Bring to a boil; boil for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover; let stand for 4 minutes; drain excess water.

–Angel-hair pasta, pastina, or orzo—these cook in 3-5 minutes. Combine with chard and parmesan

–Israeli couscous  cooks in about ten minutes

3. Beans and greens: I usually prefer cooking dried beans—but when it’s so hot, canned beans are easier. Chick peas, kidney beans, and cannellini are all great with swiss chard. Drain the beans and rinse thoroughly to get out the “can” taste. Toss with the prepared Swiss chard.

4. Greens and tofu. Toss the finished chard with cubes of tofu.

5. Greens and meat. Toss the finished chard with strips of broiled chicken or beef


Adapted from Jerusalem, by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi

1 lg bunch Swiss chard

2 ½ tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil (plus extra to finish)

About 3 tablespoons pine nuts (or, substitute slivered or blanched almonds because pine nuts are just too expensive)

2 small cloves garlic, sliced thinly (or a tablespoon of thinly sliced garlicscape)

¼ cup dry white wine, stock, or water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Sweet paprika as garnish (optional)

Separate the chard leaves from the stems by folding each leaf in half and slicing off the leaves—this is the part that takes the most time. Then chop leaves and stems separately. Steam or boil the chopped stems for about 2-3 minutes; then add the leaves and steam or boil about 1 minutes more. Drain and, when cool, squeeze out all the water. The chard should be quite dry.

While the chard is cooking, heat 1 tbs butter and 2 tbs oil in a large frying pan. Add the nuts and toss for about two minutes, until they begin to brown—be careful; they will burn very soon after they start to color. Remove them from the pan with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Add the wine, stock, or water and cook for about 1 minute. Return the chard to the pan, add the last tablespoon of buRECItter and stir for 2-3 minutes until it is combined with the garlic and warmed through.

Divide the chard among 4 plates; spoon the tahini-yogurt sauce over it and sprinkle with the nuts. Drizzle with olive oil and paprika.

Tahini-yogurt sauce:

4 tbs tahini paste

4 tbs Greek yogurt (see note)

2 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 clove garlic, crushed (or 2 tsp chopped garlicscape)

2 tbs water

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a whisk until you get a smooth paste.

NOTE: If you have plain yogurt, it can be turned into Greek yogurt in a couple of hours. Put yogurt in a sieve lined with a coffee filter, placed over a bowl (or, attach the coffee filter to the top of an empty yogurt container with a rubber band. Cover, and leave in the refrigerator for a few hours or overnight; the liquid will drain from the yogurt, leaving a thicker, creamier, Greek-style yogurt.

FUSILLI WITH GREENS—submitted by Luce, who notes that it is

very versatile and open to personal twists!

3/4 pound whole-wheat fusilli

3/4 pound mustard greens/mizuna, chopped and rinsed (or any other greens: escarole works great too, as does chard)

1/3 cup pine nuts (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 sliced garlic cloves

1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes

1/3 cup dried currants

4 Italian sausages (two sweet, two hot works well)

Freshly shredded parmesan cheese

1. Broil the sausages, and slice.

2. Cook pasta as package directs.

3. If using, toast pine nuts in a large, dry frying pan over medium heat; set


4. Add oil to pan, then add garlic, chili flakes and currants. Cook, stirring,

until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the greens. Cook until greens are tender.

5. Stir in drained pasta, sausages and reserved pine nuts. Serve with cheese.


CHINESE CABBAGE SALAD; submitted by Taryn

From: How Stuff Works, by the Editors of Publications International, Ltd.

This is a great make-ahead dish: as it refrigerates overnight, the cabbage softens slightly and the tangy flavors blend even more. Try a crisp Asian pear or juicy seedless red grapes in place of the apple.

6 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon dark sesame oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
1 large crisp red apple, diced
1 medium (1 to 1-1/4 pounds) head green cabbage
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds


  1. Combine vinegar, sugar, oil and ginger in large bowl; stir until sugar dissolves. Stir in apple.
  2. Add cabbage, raisins, onions, cilantro and sesame seeds; gently stir until well combined.


Store cabbage tightly wrapped in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. A one-pound cabbage will yield about 4 cups shredded cabbage.

PICKLED CHINESE CABBAGE—submitted by Lee’at, from

1 head Napa cabbage (this works with plain cabbage as well)
5-6 slices of fresh ginger
5 oz. (1/2 cup + 2 tbsps) sugar
1 tbsp + 1 tsp salt
1 cup rice wine vinegar
2 cups water
1 carrot, peeled and cut into slivers
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into slivers (optional – I just added them for color)
1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
6-12 dried red chili peppers (depending on how spicy you want it)

Lop off the base of the head of Napa cabbage. Separate the leaves and wash them. Shake off excess water and blot with a towel. Stack several leaves together in the same orientation and cut a couple of 1-inch sections (the tougher white parts) – don’t throw them out, you’ll want to keep it all. Then slice the remaining leafy section lengthwise. Repeat with all of the leaves. The smaller leaves can be left whole. In a small saucepan, heat the ginger, sugar, salt, rice wine vinegar, and water. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. When the mixture comes to a boil, remove from heat. In a large glass jar, layer the cabbage, carrots, bell pepper (if using), Sichuan peppercorns, and red chili peppers. Pour the pickling liquid (including the ginger) into the jar. Cover the jar tightly. Give it a shake. Place in refrigerator. Don’t worry if the liquid doesn’t cover all of the cabbage, over time the cabbage will wilt and settle into the liquid. Refrigerate for at least a day, but I prefer at least three days.


–See “Asian Fried Vegetables” p. 176 in Recipes from America’s Small Farms. This recipe works well with any combination of the vegetables listed in the ingredients. I’ll make it with scallions, summer squash, eggplant, and sliced portobellos this week.

–Babaganoush. I usually roast eggplant in the oven; whenever I’m baking or roasting something else, I wrap an eggplant loosely in foil (prick in a few places first) and put it in the oven for an hour or more. But I don’t want to turn on the oven this week; microwaving is not quite at good, but still delicious. Cut off the stem and prick all over with a knife or fork. Place on a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for five minutes. Turn over, return to oven and continue to microwave a minute at a time until the eggplant is completely soft and caved in. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Then scrape the pulp from the skin. Add chopped scallion and garlic (or scape), salt and pepper to taste; squeeze in a splash of lemon juice. Add about two tablespoons of tahini paste, more or less to taste and depending on the size of the eggplant. Serve with pita or crackers.



1 ½ cups homemade or canned chicken or vegetable broth

4 green onions, sliced

2 cups chopped, seeded cucumbers

1 tablespoon chopped dill

1 8-ounce container plain yogurt

Salt and pepper to taste

Dill sprigs for garnish

Simmer broth and green onions for 8-10 minutes. Cool slightly, then place in blender, with cucumber (save some for the end), dill. Puree until smooth, then add yogurt and puree again. Taste and add salt and pepper. Chill, garnish with dill and reserved chopped cucumber.

Variation: See cucumber-current soup under currents, below.


2 6-inch cucumbers; peel only if the skin is tough; thinly sliced

¼ cup cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a non-metal bowl; make sure all the cucumbers are submerged. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. To serve, remove the cucumbers with a slotted spoon. Don’t throw away the liquid—use it for storing leftovers or for the next batch.


From the Wall Street Journal;

Original source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303665904577452782191791096.html.

This salad’s refreshing crunch is perfect in hot weather. Blueberries can be milder and less acidic than other berries, so they mellow the salty feta and sharp-tasting mint.

Total Time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4 to 6 as an appetizer


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

1 teaspoon honey

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

3 heaping cups blueberries

2 hothouse cucumbers, peeled and seeds scraped out, cut into 1-inch pieces on a diagonal

3 scallions, thinly sliced

1 cup crumbled feta

1 heart of romaine, chopped

2 lightly packed cups mint leaves

What To Do

In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, honey and salt and pepper. Combine blueberries, cucumbers, scallions, feta, romaine and mint in a large serving bowl. Toss with dressing. Add more salt and pepper, to taste.


Currant dressing: Simmer 1 cup currants with 2 tablespoons sugar or honey for about 5 minutes. Add lemon, ginger, allspice, or cinnamon to taste. Serve with meat, poultry, or fish. It’s also great, cooled, over ice cream.

Currents and greens: Put about 1/4 cup of currents in food processor with 2 tsp olive oil, 2 sprigs chopped dill, salt and peper to taste. Puree; add sugar or honey until it’s as sweet as you like it. Serve over greens (such as the sautéed chard above); sprinkle with toasted almonds and crumbled blue, feta, or goat cheese.

Parfait. Layer currants with granola and yogurt. If it’s too tart for you, mix the currants with sugar or honey before you layer. Also nice with a layer of blueberries or strawberries. .

Cucumber-currant soup: Use the cucumber soup recipe above—but add a half-cup of currants and 2 tablespoons of honey or sugar when you puree the cucumbers. Float a few currants on top. The soup will turn pink

Fruit salad, fruit shakes, smoothies, and ice pops: Add a few currants to salads or blend into shakes, and smoothies—increase the sugar in the dressing or shake. Freeze some of the shake or smoothie mixture in plastic ice-pop makers—leave a few whole currants.

Blueberry/Currant Salsa: In a food processor, place ½ cup currants, ½ cup blueberries, 1 tbs sugar or honey, 1 tsp. chopped garlic or garlicscape, 2 tbs chopped onion, 1 tsp. minced ginger, zest and juice from half a lemon and/or lime, 1 tbs of your favorite flavoring—vanilla, cognac, sherry, liqueur.If you like, add hot sauce or cayenne. Pulse a few times, just until chopped roughly. If desired, add a tablespoon of finely chopped toasted nuts (almonds or pecans). Serve with greens, with strips of roasted chicken, with fish, or as a dip.

Current-Cranberry Sauce: Freeze about ½ cup of currents; remove stems, rinse, pack in a ziplock bag and tuck them into the freezer. Take them out on Thanksgiving and add them to your cranberry sauce—they add an extra layer of flavor and a reminder of summer.

Cherie on July 16th, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

This is so helpful — thank you, Lori!

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