What happened to the chard: ~ Ham Pie Sandwiches

11 July 2009

What happened to the chard:

It got melted into white bean and chard business. Then we ate it with chili paste and toasty pieces of wheat flatbread. Then, when Ryan and the co-op kids showed up, they ate it with chili paste and toasty flatbread too. Voila! Cheap, awesome vegan dinner!

This business is thoroughly and perfectly flavored by the taste of fresh red chard. It's hard to believe there are so few ingredients to assemble. AND YET.

("Business" = "a food I make that can't necessarily be put into a specific type-of-dish category". I thoroughly overuse the word "business", as you have probably noticed.)

White bean and chard business

olive oil
cooked white beans
a lot of chard
salt, pepper
did we put dry vermouth in it?
fresh basil
(chili paste and flatbread)

First, warm some olive oil in a big sauté pan. Smash garlic with the flat of a knife, remove the skin, and chop it roughly. I like garlic, and I wasn't using a whole lot of other ingredients, so I used maybe six cloves.

Soften your garlic in the olive oil. When it's all nice and happy, add some cooked white beans. I had a brick of preboiled white beans in the freezer, complete with bay leaf, so I stuck the whole thing into the pan to defrost and cook. You can also use a can of white beans, or a pot you've just boiled from dry. Obviously, using frozen beans takes the longest, and it's probably not what anyone but me would do anyway, so. Put some bean broth or water in the pan to cook with the beans (or let it melt off your frozen brick).

While the beans are cooking, wash the hell out of a big bunch of chard. I used a LOT of chard, so the finished business was way more "chard with white beans" than "white beans with chard". Serious washing is required. Fill the sink halfway with cold water and totally submerge your greens. Shake them all up in the water and get that sand and dirt really off! Do it!

When your chard is all clean, cut all the greens off the stems and separate them. Trim the edges of the stems, then cut them into inch-long pieces. Chop the greens roughly.

When your beans are hot and bubbling, add the chard stems to the pan. Salt and pepper, stir them up, and let them cook together for three or four minutes. You can also add a splash of dry vermouth here, if you want your beans and greens to have that vermouth edge. FYI: red chard stems will totally turn your beans bright pink. I'm just saying.

When the stems are almost done, add your greens to the pan. There should be a lot of greens! Lots! Stir things up, add a little splash of water, clap on the lid, and let the greens steam for a couple minutes. You may need to stir the business up a few times if your pan is too crowded for the steam to get around. It's all good.

When the greens are all wilted, turn off the heat. Chop up a bunch of fresh basil to put on top of each bowl; you're done.

Eat with toasty flatbread pieces and hot chili paste.

Toasty flatbread pieces

Cut some good flatbread into triangles or squares. Put them in the toaster oven (or actual oven) and toast until toasty and crisp.

Hot chili paste

Open a jar of hot chili paste.

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