On returning from our travels, one more surprise for me- a 'Welcome Back' present awaiting us on the doorstep- from a friend's allotment.
When I opened up the bag- this is what was inside:
|Welcomed home with veg!|
So this week's blog is all about how I made four main dishes- and the same again of leftover lunches- from this bountiful bagful.
I started with the Swiss Chard ( or blettes as it is known in French).
This excellent vegetable is a story of two halves: the leaves which are like spinach and can be used in the same sort of dishes, or can be stuffed like cabbage leaves; and the stems which are like celery and make lovely soups but also gratins and tasty side dishes too.
|Swiss Chard- a story of two halves|
I decided to make a Quiche Aux Blettes (Swiss Chard Tart- but it sounds tastier in French) with the leaves and a Lyonnais-style side dish with the stems.
Wash the leaves well and wilt down in a saucepan (with just the water clinging to them- no more) then drain and squeeze the leaves dry using a J cloth or tea towel.
|Quiche aux Bletttes|
With sweetcorn to start, and a green salad to accompany- the quiche was a real feast- and the leftovers made two lunches as well.
Likewise the side dish went beautifully with some poached salmon.
Slice the chard stems into bite size pieces. Fry 1 sliced onion and 1 clove of garlic (minced) in some oil, then add the chard pieces and brown a little. Add 1 tbsp white wine or dry sherry and a crumbled vegetable stock cube. Cover with a lid and simmer until the liquid has nearly all been absorbed. Just before serving boil quickly to evaporate the last of the liquid and whisk in a knob of butter to make the dish glossy.
|Lyonnais style Chard- bubbling away|
Now for the big beast- that golden marrow!
First job- cut it in half- and use one half for a Mediterranean Tian and the other was to be stuffed and served with salad.
A marrow to be proud of!
I sliced one of the marrow halves lengthways, scooped out any large seeds to make a trench and filled it with beef ragout ( spag bol sauce basically!)
|Ready for the oven|
|Stuffed sliced marrow|
1 courgette ( or half a marrow!)
400g bechamel sauce
salt pepper and oil (for browning)
breadcrumbs and Parmesan for topping
First make your bechamel sauce in a saucepan (you can add a little grated cheese if you want too).
|whisk up your bechamel sauce|
|Spread out the sauce|
|Layer in the veg and the sliced mozzarella|
|Ready for the oven|
|Use-it-All-Up Minestone Soup|
Last but most definitely not least, the potatoes.
So many delicious things can be made from the humble spud- but this time I opted for a recipe I gleaned in the Auvergne- Truffade- which is a sort of cheesy, bacon and potato hash. This has to be one of the most delicious things- if you like bacon, potatoes and cheese. which I do- and I recommend it out of all the dishes on this post.
I par-boiled the potatoes until just tender and fried off the leftover bacon lardons ( from the quiche).
I added the potatoes and fried for a while, turning frequently to distribute all the golden crunchy bits from the bottom of the frying pan.
|Fry the bacon and potatoes|
|Lay in a gratin dish with cheese|
Many thanks to all our friends and family for making this summer such a special one.