(Have you ever wondered why, on your favorite food blog, some recipe posts have a photo of a main ingredient used, but not the dish itself? Two possible reason: 1) The dish, while absolutely delicious to the tongue, is not so appealing to the eye and doesn't photograph well; 2) it's been gobbled up long before anyone thought to grab a camera. In this particular instance, both happen to be true.)
Yesterday on this blog I nattered on about simplicity and sticking to the basics in my kitchen. A couple hours later my friend Miss Bliss, a woman of refined and particular tastes, popped in unexpectedly for dinner. And there I was, nothing prepared, not so much as a tahini-and-cucumber sandwich in sight.
Fortunately, I had a crisper full of organic veggies at hand and was able to throw something together for my friend. Yes, it happened to be vegan and gluten-free, but that wasn't the point of the thing; it was quick to the table and satisfied both of us. So herewith - a simple supper idea. All the ingredients in this instance came from Fiddleheads Co-op (*shameless plug*). If you are not a lover of all things chard, substitute kale or any green of your choice.
Roasted Portobello Caps & Zucchini, with Steamed Chard
2 portobello caps, stems removed
1-2 smallish zucchini (or one large; I prefer the younger, smaller ones)
1/2 bunch chard
Olive oil, organic EV if you've got it
sea salt and black pepper (freshly-cracked or not) to taste
ground cumin to taste
1/2 bunch or so fresh chard
cooked whole grain, such as long grain brown rice or quinoa (see Note) for accompaniment
Fire up the oven to 425 degrees F. Slice the zucchini into large diagonal chunks; put them into a glass or metal baking dish (or a solid old pie pan) with the portobello caps. Drizzle enough olive over the veggies to coat evenly and thoroughly, and give a bit of a coating to the pan. Add sea salt and pepper over veggies, then a generous sprinkling or so of the cumin, toss everything to coat, adding a bit more oil or spices if needful. Place in upper half of oven, and bake until the caps are fork-tender all the way to the center, about 10-15 minutes, turning everything at least once. You will probably not need to add any more oil as the natural liquor of the 'shrooms is released.
In the meanwhile, steam your chard over the stovetop; set the heat according to if you're at your leisure or in a crashing hurry. Do watch it however; chard can get away from one quickly. You don't want to let it overcook and get limp and tasteless, You want to steam until tender but still has identifiable color to it. (Unless, like my friend Miss Bliss, you prefer yours on the grey side of the spectrum.) If you're using kale instead, you'll need to give it a bit more time as kale tends to be less delicate.
Divvy up the 'shrooms, squash and chard on two plates; sprinkle a bit of salt on the chard (it won't need anything else if it hasn't been overcooked.) Serve hot with the plain rice or quinoa, with the pan juices and extra spices poured over them. Serves 2
Variations on a theme: Instead of ground cumin, try whole cumin seeds, perhaps dry-roasted skillet beforehand, until they begin to "pop" but do not burn.
Note: If you haven't got any grain already cooked and you are in a crashing hurry, quinoa cooks up nicely in only 10-15 minutes. A harried hosts' best friend.
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Text and photos copyright 2011-2013 Janice Janostak unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved.