Swiss Chard

Swiss Chard Stem Hummus

So much of the Swiss Chard is in the stem, so it makes sense to use it all.

1 pound chard stems, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)

salt to taste

2-4 garlic cloves (to taste), peeled and green shoots removed

½ cup sesame tahini, stirred if the oil has separated

¼ – ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (to taste)

1 TB extra-virgin olive oil


Steam the chard stalks about 15 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain well, and allow to cool. Place in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Puree, stopping the machine from time to time to scrape down the sides.

Mince garlic and mash with ½ tsp. salt until you have a smooth paste. Add to the chard stalks. Process until smooth. Add the tahini, and again process until smooth. With the machine running, add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Stop the machine, taste and adjust seasonings. Transfer to bowl, drizzle on the olive oil and serve. It may seem runny at first, but it stiffens up. Keeps for about 3 days, but is best freshly made. Great with crudités or pita bread and good olives. Yumm.

Shredded kale


2 pounds russet potatoes

5 cups (or more!) chopped kale

1 or 2 leeks (need to plant in February), cleaned and chopped

1 cup milk

3 TB unsalted butter

¼ tsp nutmeg

coarse salt

1 TB unsalted butter


Boil and mash potatoes.

Combine kale, leek, milk, 2 TB butter, and nutmeg; season with salt. Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not browned, about 15 minutes. Stir into potatoes.

Transfer mixture to an oven-proof casserole, making an indentation in the center. Keep warm in a low oven until serving. Top with a little more butter.


Sunomono Salad (Japanese Cucumber Salad)

1 long English cucumber, preferably just picked, and young and tender without large seeds. Alternatively, use 4 smaller Japanese cucumbers.

6 TB rice wine vinegar

2 TB mirin (sweet rice wine vinegar)

1 TB sugar

½ tsp Kosher salt

1/8 tsp dried chili flakes


Mix the rice wine vinegar, mirin, sugar, salt and chili flakes. Slice the (peeled if waxy or spiny) cucumber VERY thinly, preferably with a mandolin. I have found very inexpensive slicers at Fujiya, a Japanese food store/deli on Shelbourne) .

Add the cucumber slices to the dressing, toss and place in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or overnight to best meld the flavours.

This recipe is originally from Rouxbe, an on-line cooking school based in Vancouver.

Striped Cavern tomato

Stuffed Tomatoes – Using Striped Cavern Heirlooms

These tomatoes are particularly suited to stuffing; they are large, hollow, and contain few seeds or pulp, with firm ‘walls’.

6 Italian sausages, meat taken out of the casings

1 cup cooked rice, or quinoa, bulgur, or any grain of choice

3 green onions, chopped

1 cup grated zucchini

lots of garlic and fresh basil, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Cook and stir the above until sausage meat is no longer pink. Drain off any excess liquid.

Cut tops off the tomatoes. This is probably enough for about 8 tomatoes, but depends on the size, of course. Stuff them fully, then top with grated cheddar or any cheese you like. Consider this more of a guideline than a recipe, just add whatever suits your taste.

Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes.

After cooling, they freeze well, and are a welcome treat in the winter months.

Vegetarian? Check the internet for dozens of great recipes.



Roasted Beets With Sauce

To roast beets, wash, then rub with olive oil, add just a small splash of water, then wrap tightly in foil. I usually wrap 2-3 together. Put on baking tray in oven at 375 for about an hour, depending on size and freshness of beets. When time is up I just leave sitting (out of oven) until I need to peel them. The skins slip off beautifully and flavor is better than steaming or boiling.


2 tsp Dijon mustard

2 tsp horseradish

1 clove garlic, minced

salt and pepper to taste

2 TB olive oil

2 TB lemon juice


Mix together and serve with beets. I usually serve in a little pitcher at the table.

Garnish with big swath of chives.


Cherry Tomatoes With Pasta and Fresh Basil


1 ½ – 2 pounds fresh, ripe cherry tomatoes, halved (can squeeze out some of the juice if they are watery)

4 garlic cloves, minced

½ cup fresh French bread crumbs

½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano

salt and pepper to taste

¼ cup olive oil

penne pasta, or fusilli, or farfallini etc

½ cup finely chopped fresh basil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put the tomato halves in a large baking dish that can be brought to the table.

In a small bowl, combine garlic, bread crumbs, cheese, and s&p.

Spoon evenly over the tomatoes. Spoon the olive oil evenly over the mixture.

Roast the tomatoes for 30-35 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbly, browned, and slightly thickened.

In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook pasta til al dente. Drain well.

Add the pasta to the tomato mixture in the baking dish.

Add the basil and toss to combine. Serve immediately, with more parmesan if desired.


Broccolini With Lemon and Garlic

Approximately 375 g broccolini

2 TB XV olive oil

2 cloves garlic, sliced

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp grated lemon rind

1 TB lemon juice

Trim tough ends from broccolini. In large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Saute garlic and salt lightly, until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add broccolini, ¼ cup water, and lemon rind. Cover and steam until tender and no water remains. Watch carefully. Stir in lemon juice and serve immediately.