My best friend was at the grocery story and found top sirloin tip steak on sale so this gorgeous piece was just $5.00 so she bought one for me and dropped it off with some fresh chard. Since introducing her to how well anise seasons vegetables, she is always experimenting with new ones. She had made chard seasoned with anise the night before and wanted me to be sure to try it, so of course I did and of course it was delicious.
- 2 cups of clean, chopped chard
- 2 tsp olive oil
- pince of anise seed
- salt and pepper
Clean the chard, stripping the leaves from the stem. You can save the stems and pickle them if you like. I think you can pickle most fibrous stems, cauliflower, broccoli, chard, etc. Vinegar is cheap so it costs pennies to try. Chop the chard by rolling it and slicing the rolled chard. This allows you to make even slices. Then you can cut the opposite direction for smaller pieces.
So the next thing you do is heat a cast iron pan. Add a pinch of anise seed to the dry pan so the heat releases the oils. Then add a half tablespoon of olive oil, just enough to coat the pan. Add the chard and sautée. Chard is tender and cooks quickly so this takes at most two minutes. Remove from the heat and serve.
The steak is not part of the recipe, but because it is in the picture, here are directions.
The steak I cooked the way you always cook a steak, let it come to room temperature, pat it dry, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat the cast iron pan to med. high with olive oil. Add the steak, cook about 5 minutes, flip and add butter to the pan, and cook on the other side about 5 minutes, using a spoon to keep putting the butter back on top of the steak. Let rest for 10 minutes and it’s perfectly medium rare. I have no idea how you cook it wrong (well, medium, well, etc.)
There is no reason not to cook the steak, remove it to rest, and then to cook the chard in the same pan, addind the little bit of steak juices to your chard sauté. It’s not like it hurts.
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 medium onion, sliced thinly
- 1/2 tsp molasses or brown sugar (optional)
- pinch of baking powder (optional, 1/2 tsp per pound of onions, so a pinch only)
- 1 pear, peeled, and sliced
- 2 TBSP pecans, chopped
- 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
- Bread dough
In a saucepan on low heat, melt the butter. Add the thinly sliced onion, carefully separating all the rings. Stir and add a bit of salt and continue to cook on low heat for a long time, checking occasionally and stirring. Be patient and go read a book. You can cook it on higher heat, but the goal is not one single bit onion getting charred, so I slow cook it for an hour or even longer. After the onions are softened, you can add a pinch of baking powder to speed the Maillard reaction. I like to add a bit of molasses to make the flavor just that bit more complex. You could also bake it in the oven at 350° but it stains the sides of the pan above the onions and is hard to clean.
While the onions are cooking you could make the bread dough using this recipe a friend gave me. This makes enough dough for eight pizzas or four artisanal boules. I make it and just keep it in a plastic container in the fridge to use when I need some dough. I use it for boules, for pizzas, for fry bread, and for wrapping around cocktail sauces or cheese for snacks. Anyway, the two hours the onions take is plenty of time for the first rise of the dough.
Turn the oven on at 400°
Roll the dough out as thin as you can and then roll the edge to the center, just one roll so you have a bit of an edge to keep anything from going on the baking sheet.
Spread the caramelized onions on the dough and spread to the edges.
Place the pear slices evenly over the “pizza.”
Sprinkle the mozzarella and pecans over the top.
Bake for 20 minutes. Makes two services of two slices each.
Let cool for about 10 minutes and cut into four pieces. Letting it cool makes it easier to eat and the flavors are more intense when they aren’t too hot. Also, when it’s hot out of the oven, everything will slide right off the bread.
This is delicious, caramelized onions and pears are pure magic. I’ve made this with blue cheese too and it is delicious as well.
- 1 large rutabaga, peeled and grated
- 2 carrots, peeled and grated
- 3 cups shredded cabbage
Mix together in a bowl, sprinkle with salt and let rest for an hour or more. Then, add
- 3 green peppers, cored and chopped
- 1/2 cup roasted almonds
Mix all the vegetables together. To make the dressing, mix 1/4 cup Sweet & Sour Mango Fig Sauce with 1/4 cup plain rice vinegar and stir into the salad.
This is a delicious, light, and fresh tasting salad. It’s crunchy and delicious. It’s delicious with pork and chicken on a sandwich. It’s good on a cracker or on knackebröd.
I had planned to make a “potato” salad substituting rutabaga for the potatoes. I cooked the rutabaga and boiled the eggs and then thought I really was not in the mood for such a heavy salad after all. So what to do when I was in the middle of making something else. Well, I repurposed the eggs for egg salad and set my mind to coming up with a new rutabaga salad. To go lighter I decided to use plain yogurt rather than mayonnaise.
- 1 rutabaga, peeled, chopped, and cooked.
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- 2 springs of parsley, chopped
Peel and dice one rutabaga into chunks. Put in a saucepan and boil until tender but not mushy. These have substance and toothiness but no crunch. Removed from the heat, put in colander to drain away hot water and rinse in cold water so they quit cooking. Let cool in the fridge for half an hour or so.
Add chopped onions, celery, and parsley. Mix together lightly.
For the dressing I mixed
- 1/2 cup plain yogurt
- 1/3 cup rice vinegar
- 1 TBSP curry powder
- salt and pepper
Mix the yogurt, vinegar, curry powder, and salt and pepper well. Stir into salad and toss lightly. Put in the fridge for an hour or more to let the rutabaga begin absorbing the flavor. Use your own judgment on curry powder, lots of people like things spicier than I do and some like it less spicy. The dressing is light and does not overdress the salad. You don’t want a pool of liquid in the bottom of the bowl.
This is a delicious salad, the curry adds heat, the vinegar some brightness and the texture is wonderful, with just the right amount of bite.
The best way to cook vegetables is roasting. They retain their flavor and get a bit of flavor emphasis with caramelization. It’s popular to melt a little cheese on top but that seems a bit heavy for lunch. I like the contrast between hot veggies and cool, fresh, and light sour cream.
Preheat oven to 450°
Toss six cauliflower florets, 2 very small onions cut in half, and 3 slices of asparagus cut in half. Toss a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Rub the oil all over the veggies so they are coated.
Roast 20 minutes, turn oven to broil for 5 minutes so the veggies are all browned beautifully.
While roasting, make a sauce with 1/4 cup of sour cream, the juice of half a lemon and some dill weed (to taste), add a bit of salt and pepper.
Roasted vegetables are the best, a light, cool sauce is a delightful contrast. It’s also super easy to make.
Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite winter vegetables and since they are in season, I thought it might be fun to come up with a red and green dish with them, experimenting in advance of Christmas. Sun-dried tomatoes are such a rich red, with the bright green of the Brussels sprouts, I decided I had to try it.
- 1 TBSP olive oil
- ½ tsp dried red pepper flakes
- ½ cup yellow onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz. Brussels Sprouts, cleaned, ends cut off, and quartered.
- 6 sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
- 1 lemon
- 2 TBSP Asiago cheese grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat oil with the dried pepper flakes, infusing its heat into the oil.
- Add chopped onions and sauté until turning transparent.
- Add garlic, stir quickly.
- Add Brussels sprouts and sauté, stirring occasionally for 3 to 5 minutes. Add pepper but withhold the salt until after you add the sun-dried tomatoes. (They can get really salty depending on the brand and you will want to taste it with the tomatoes before you add any salt.)
- Add juice of 1 lemon and sun-dried tomato strips. Cook until the liquid is absorbed.
- Add grated cheese and stir quickly. It will melt right in.
This actually made two generous servings, so I have one to reheat. It’s very umami with the cheese giving it a bit of nutty creaminess. The sun-dried tomatoes add a bit of sweetness and tartness at the same time. It’s a very comforting side dish.
I can imagine it with a bit more of a Mediterranean vibe by adding some black olives. You could also use parmesan instead of Asiago, I just prefer Asiago myself. It’s just a bit nuttier. This is fast and simple, taking less than ten minutes from start to finish.