Home - is where I want to be / But I guess I'm already there /I come home -
she lifted up her wings /
Guess that this must be the place...
- Talking Heads, "Naive Melody"

Friday, September 18, 2009

Swiss Chard with Cannellini Beans and Tomatoes

I hardly ever blog side dishes. This is because I hardly ever make side dishes; throw some vegetables in the steamer and make some rice, is my idea of a "goes-with." But every once in a while I have no choice, because I have chard in the refrigerator and nowhere for it to go, and I do hate throwing away market vegetables just because I was too lazy to do anything useful with them.

Much as I love my cookbook collection, the internet is really useful in these situations. No one book has more than a handful of chard recipes--fun if you have time to browse through a dozen or more books, not so good if you really need to figure out a menu now--while a quick search puts hundreds of them in reach. Like this one, for instance.

With this sort of cooking (unlike with Indian food), I view the recipe as a sort of vague guideline. I didn't have two pounds of chard, so I halved the entire recipe from the start. There was no way I was going to get out another whole pot, and there is no way chard takes fifteen minutes to cook, unless you have some kind of mutant chard from hell that is trying to climb out of that pot. I threw it in a braising pan with some olive oil and let it soften there, added the garlic, beans, and most of a can of diced tomatoes since I didn't have any fresh ones.

The results were perfectly fine. I am not sure I'll make this again, but it was quick and effortless and reasonably tasty.

This should be a good week for cooking, so I hope to continue with more regular blogging. Our supper club will be meeting this weekend for the first time ages, the forecast continues relatively cool and fall-ish, and other parts of my life are pretty quiet for a change. I am in major pantry-stocking mode, and my shelves overflow with pasta, beans, and broths.

In sad news, the end of farmer's market season is in sight. The Kendall Square market, which has livened up my Thursdays at the office for the past few months, officially lasts through October, but yesterday only one farm showed up.

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