SaltWire's Ask a Journalist: You have questions, let's find some ...
What you need to know about COVID-19: May 26
The latest on Nova Scotia's mass shooting
Visit SaltWire.com for more of the stories you want.
The latest weather columns and browse beautiful photos from Cindy Day
SaltWire's cartoonists bring heart and humour to the news.
NOW Atlantic: Smart thinking for a changing world
Swiss chard enchiladas in red sauce from Start Simple.
In his fourth cookbook, Start Simple, Lukas Volger highlights myriad uses for 11 core ingredients.
Our cookbook of the week is Start Simple by Lukas Volger , creator of the James Beard Award-winning Jarry magazine. Over the next two days, we’ll feature another recipe from the book and an interview with the author.
To try another recipe from the book, check out: White bean and carrot burgers .
Swiss chard represents an unexpected twofer: The character of the stems is so different from the leaves. When treated as distinct vegetables, as Lukas Volger does in his enchiladas, they offer a compelling contrast in taste and texture.
“The stems are almost like asparagus … and I think a lot of people just throw them away,” says Volger, adding that when roasted and used to fill these enchiladas, “they really are surprisingly meaty and flavourful.”
He also recommends tossing roasted chard stems into grain bowls or omelettes, using them as a garnish, or seasoning them as you would french fries and eating them as a snack.
SWISS CHARD ENCHILADAS IN RED SAUCE
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided
2 bunches Swiss chard, stems removed and reserved for Roasted Chard Stems (recipe follows)
Additional fillings: 1 cup (250 mL) coarsely chopped Roasted Chard Stems (recipe follows), 1 cup (250 mL) cooked black beans, or 1/2 cup (125 mL) fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled cotija or feta cheese, plus more for garnish
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) Red Enchilada Sauce (recipe follows)
8 to 10 small corn tortillas
Thinly sliced red onion, for garnish
Cilantro leaves and tender stems, for garnish
Cubed avocado, for garnish
Sour cream or crème fraîche, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Warm 2 tablespoons (30 mL) olive oil in a large skillet over low heat, then pile in the Swiss chard, incrementally if necessary. Cook until wilted and tender, low and slow, 10 to 15 minutes, or more — you don’t want too much chew left in the greens. Gather them to one side of the pan and press with a wooden spoon or spatula to extract their liquid, then carefully discard it. Coarsely chop the greens, then season with salt and the remaining 1 tablespoon (15 mL) olive oil. Stir in the cheese and any additional fillings if desired.
Spread 1/4 cup (50 mL) of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch (23 x 33-cm) baking pan or equivalent baking dish. If your tortillas are dry and/or prone to tearing, wrap them in a lightly moistened towel and place them on a baking sheet in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes to soften up.
To assemble, brush one side of a tortilla with sauce, fill with about 2 tablespoons (30 mL) of the greens, and either roll the stuffed tortilla into a cigar or fold it over the filling, and place in the prepared dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas, lining them up in the dish so that they fit in a snug single layer (it’s fine if there’s overlap). Spoon the remaining sauce over the enchiladas, spreading it over any dry patches of tortilla. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until the sauce has reduced a bit and is bubbling around the edges. Watch closely toward the end, as it can dry out very quickly. Serve hot, garnished with additional cheese, red onion, cilantro, avocado and sour cream, as desired.
RED ENCHILADA SAUCE
One 14.5-oz (411-g) can tomatoes (whole, crushed, or diced)
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil
2 tbsp (30 mL) ancho chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) sugar
3/4 tsp (3 mL) salt
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried cumin
1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano
Combine all the ingredients in a blender along with 3/4 cup (175 mL) water. Blend until smooth, adding up to 1/2 cup (125 mL) more water to thin the sauce. Taste for seasoning. In an airtight container, it’ll keep for 3 days in the refrigerator.
Makes: about 1 1/2 cups (375 mL)
ROASTED CHARD STEMS
Stems from 1 or 2 bunches Swiss chard
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
Trim any browned or frayed parts from the cut ends of the chard stems. Arrange them in a single layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle liberally with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and black pepper, then toss to coat evenly. Transfer to the oven and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until blistered a bit and tender when a knife is inserted into the thickest parts. Eat warm or at room temperature.
Makes: 1 1/2 to 2 cups (375 to 500 mL)
Note: In addition to adding Roasted Chard Stems to the Swiss Chard Enchiladas, you could use them as a garnish or as a component of a grain bowl or an omelette, or just make them as a treat. Wide, thick stems work best. Unfortunately kale and other hearty green stems are too fibrous to enjoy when cooked this way.
From the book Start Simple by Lukas Volger. Copyright © 2020 by Lukas Volger. Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Reprinted by permission.
Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2020