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Thursday, 18 October 2012

LEAFY GREENS


 I was once a picky eater.
We had a round, dark, oak table that was always extended with one or two leaves.
I used to sit under it and contemplate the crosspieces dotted with dried up pieces of spinach or matina I had managed to slip off my plate and secrete there when Mom was talking to someone else or off to the kitchen for more food.

Now, I’ll try just about anything . . .
And I love most cooked leafy greens. 


Aline, I’ll bet you still have some of this Swiss chard in your garden.

I’ve often used Swiss chard in recipes calling for spinach and I’m not the only one.   Have a look at:

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Here’s a good brunch recipe based on something in an old cookbook Nicole picked up:
Southern Living 1982 Annual Recipes.

SPINACH CASSEROLE

4 eggs
1 pound fresh spinach
¼ cup butter
¼ cup flour
1 ½ cups milk
1/8 tsp cayenne
2 slices white bread
4 ounces sharp Cheddar

1.        Hardboil the eggs.
2.       Wash the spinach.  Cut off the stems and chop these finely in a food processor.  Chop the leaves coarsely.
3.       Put spinach stems and leaves in a Dutch oven and add 1 tbsp water.  Cover and cook over high heat for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Drain if there’s liquid in the pan.
4.       Butter a 9 or 10 inch round casserole. 
5.       Make fresh, soft breadcrumbs by whirling bread in food processor.
6.       Grate the cheese.
7.       Melt butter in a saucepan over medium high heat and whisk in flour.  Cook for 1 minute and whisk in the milk.  Switch to a wooden spoon and cook until thickened.
8.       Peel and slice the eggs.
9.       Start preheating the oven to 350.
10.   Distribute a half cup of breadcrumbs on bottom of casserole.  Next put in half of the spinach, then half of the egg slices, then half the cheese, and then half the sauce.
11.   Repeat the layers, finishing with bread crumbs on top.
12.   Bake for 40 minutes.

It looks really good with those toasted breadcrumbs on top.  Serve with:


  Marinated Tomatoes and Onions  (from same cookbook)

Slice 2 tomatoes and ½ a medium onion.  Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Mix together ¼ cup olive oil and 2 tbsp red wine vinegar.  Pour over the tomatoes & onions and stir about.  Marinate, covered, for half an hour or more. 

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PREPARING AHEAD FOR GUESTS

 You can turn off the oven and leave the casserole inside for another 20 minutes.  It stays hot and good.
OR
Cook ahead and reheat for 20 to 30 minutes in 350 degree oven.