Monday, June 27, 2011

Farmer's Market: Swiss Chard

This post is intended to be the first in a series documenting my farmer's market food adventures.  Hopefully it inspires you to think outside of the box and try something new in your kitchen, too!

Each Saturday morning and Wednesday evening, Manhattan has a farmer's market.  Handsome and I usually hit up the Saturday market for some fresh produce, and every time we go I pick out something I've never eaten before.  In the past I've purchased Mustard Greens, fresh Bavarian Garlic, and rhubarb, and this past week I purchased Rainbow Collard Greens.

Image courtesy

I forgot to take a photo (so I borrowed one).  The stems look like rhubarb, but the leaves are large and flat and at least two hand-breadths long!  It had zero net calories like celery (takes as many calories to digest and eat as are provided by the vegetable), and it tastes similar to spinach (but stronger, in my opinion).

I decided to make Lemon, Chard and Spicy Sausage Lasagna (recipe follows), because I saw it on the Cozy Kitchen blog and it looked yummy!  I was a little skeptical, because the recipe called for cooked lemon slices, but we tried it anyway.  After the first bite I exclaimed, "This is actually pretty good!", which caused Handsome to laugh out loud.  We thought it was okay, a little bland as written, with the lemon overwhelming everything else.  The author adapted the recipe from Martha Stewart, and I think Martha's version would be much tastier.

Sorry, no prettier picture.  I forgot to take one until after we'd eaten!

Lemon, Chard and Spicy Sausage Lasagna
by A Cozy Kitchen

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups whole milk
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
4 cups coarsely chopped Swiss chard (about 1 bunch)
3/4 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1 lemon, very thinly sliced
6 Lasagna noodles
Place noodles in a large, flat pan and cover with hot tap water.  Soak for at least 30 minutes.
Melt butter in a saucepan over high heat. Stir in flour; cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk. Bring to a boil, stirring. Reduce heat. Simmer for 1 minute. Remove from heat. Whisk in 3/4 cup cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Stir in chard.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook sausage in a skillet over high heat, breaking up pieces, until no longer pink, about 4 minutes.
Cover lemon slices with cold water by 3 inches in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer for 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate using a slotted spoon.
Spread 1/4 cup sauce in an 8-inch square nonreactive baking dish. Top with 2 noodles, half the sausage, and 1 cup sauce. Repeat. Top with a layer of lemons, 2 noodles, then remaining sauce and lemons. Bake, covered with parchment-lined foil, for 27 minutes.
Remove from oven. Heat broiler. Uncover lasagna; top with remaining 1/4 cup cheese. Broil until bubbling, 2 to 3 minutes.

1 comment:

  1. Lemon in lasagna...interesting. I am so proud of your adventures at the market with new fruits and veggies! Now if only everybody had the same attitude, trying something new every week. Just imagine how healthy we would be.

    I think if I made that lasagna, I would omit the lemon and add onion, garlic, and spices! That wouldn't be quite as adventuresome though.