Saturday, March 17, 2012

Easy week-night greens

I read this article in The Guardian the other day and thought that Eliane Glaser had a very good point. Sure, celebrity chefs do live in a bubble, and their culinary advice, as healthy and tasty and wonderful as they might sound, aren't always practical. But I work full time, I have two young kids, an overworked partner, no one around to give us a hand, and yet we cook dinner from scratch every single night. The kids and I get home at 6:30pm every week night and we are ready to eat dinner by 7:15. Dinners consist of freshly cooked vegetables, usually served with meat or fish (the type of recipes you read on this blog), then a dairy product (yogurt or cheese), and a fruit. Most nights we start with a salad or soup (made from scratch as well, including dressing). (For drinks: water.) So I know there is a way to eat healthy food even on a tight schedule, and I know that the food revolution isn't just a great big fat lie.

Well, that was my conclusion two weeks ago. Yesterday, I took this quiz by Charles Murray, on, and had to admit that I, too, live in a pretty thick bubble. Hm... So... Err... Take my advice with a grain of salt ;-)

Here is one of my new week-night favorites. It works well aside grilled meat, baked fish, or a starchier vegetable dish (which can be as simple as boiled potatoes).

Serves 4

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil 
  • 1/2 yellow onion, coarsely chopped 
  • 2 cloves garlic, halved and stemmed 
  • 2 bunches swiss chards, or 1 bunch swiss chards and 1 bunch collard greens, or any other combination of green-leafed vegetables 
  • 2 Tbsp sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil, cut into strips 
  • salt, freshly ground black pepper 
  • 1 tsp whole coriander seeds, crushed, or 1/2 tsp coriander seed powder 
  1.  If you use swiss chards and the stems are large enough, use them. 
    • Cut off the leaves close to the stem and reserve. 
    • Cut the base of each stem without detaching it completely, and pull the fibers that come off. 
    • Cut the stem again, 2 inches away from its base, starting from the other side of the stem, and pull off the fibers again. Repeat until you reach the tip of the stem. 
    • You are left with 2-inch strips of delicious stem, free of the extra fibers that would make them chewy.
    • Chop the stem strips. 
  2. Wash the stemmed leaves and drain them the way you would wash and drain lettuce leaves. Take a few leaves at a time, roll them together along their longer axis, and cut into 1-inch strips. 
  3. Heat up the olive oil in a sautee pan. Add the chopped onion, chard stems and garlic and sautee until translucent (1-2 minutes). 
  4. Add the greens and toss until all the leaves are wilted, but still bright (another 1-2 minutes). 
  5. Toss in the julienned dried tomatoes and seasoning. Serve immediately. 
Step 3 (with green onions instead of yellow, here)


Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

Just discovered your Pot au feu recipe from 2006, trying it out for dinner tonight. Thanks. Love your blog I will be back.

Estelle said...

Welcome, and thanks for your comment! Can't wait to hear how the pot-au-feu went.

Estelle said...

By the way Melissa Clark has a video that shows how to prepare all kinds of greens:

Sophie said...

hi guys!

if you want know where it's possible to eat a very good french cuisine in new york, I recommend you to read this article:

thanks to it and the frenchcultureguide website, I learned so many things about french culture in New York.


Brandon Cole said...

You have some great recipes.

restaurants in the philippines said...

Love the food! You’re amazing. This menu is fantastic, It sure will help everyone who’s looking for a perfect menu like this. Thank you for sharing this recipe.


Anonymous said...

Wanted to try it too for our dinner next week I hope I can do it well and my family will love it. Thanks for sharing this recipe. I also have a favorite french dish in this restaurant Nevers - Le Bouchon, but forgot the name.