Traditional recipes

Garlic Toasts with Swiss Chard, Raisins and Pine Nuts

Garlic Toasts with Swiss Chard, Raisins and Pine Nuts


  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed to paste, plus 1 garlic clove minced
  • 20 1/2-inch-thick baguette rounds (from 1 baguette)
  • 1 14- to 16-ounce bunch Swiss chard, thick stems trimmed
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2 tablespoons chopped seeded tomato
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Recipe Preparation

  • Place raisins in small bowl. Pour enough warm water over to cover; let stand 20 minutes. Drain.

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine 3 tablespoons oil and crushed garlic in another small bowl. Arrange baguette rounds on baking sheet. Bake until bread is crisp but not brown, turning bread once, about 5 minutes per side. Cool. Brush bread with garlic oil.

  • Cook Swiss chard in large pot of boiling salted water until tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Drain well. Pat with paper towels to remove excess water. Finely chop chard. Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in heavy medium skillet over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic and sauté until onion is tender, about 3 minutes. Add tomato and parsley and stir 1 minute. Increase heat to high; add pine nuts, nutmeg, raisins, and chard and stir 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top toasts with Swiss chard mixture. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Reviews Section

Summer produce is easy. Summer produce is the embodiment of an easy, breezy sunny day. Tomatoes are sliced. Okra only needs a short simmer or perhaps a bit of grilling. Fresh corn takes a quick dip in salted, boiling water and is eager and ready for a soft, melting knob of butter.

Fall brings wet mornings and long cool nights. The darkness of night lingers longer in the morning and quietly eases in earlier in the evening. As the days grow shorter, cabbage, kale, collards, spinach, Swiss chard, and mustard greens replace the tender lettuces and easy vegetables of spring and summer. The dark leafy greens of fall are more complex than sunny summer produce.


Frozen tuna and a can of Italian tuna in olive oil cost about the the same amount. Seems bizarre, but there it is. The frozen tuna is probably much healthier than the canned tuna as well. Then again I have no idea what ocean it was fished from, which I’m not crazy about, but if I bought it fresh at the grocery store, I wouldn’t know that either. In this kingdom of shrimp, I haven’t found local shrimp, it was all farmed in Thailand or Indonesia. I need to go check out those fish markets.

I have made similar recipes like this one in the past. This is an interpretation of a Sicilian pasta with fish, raisins, pine nuts, capers and toasted bread crumbs. It is one of those dishes where you don’t really need to go to the grocery store, I usually have all of the ingredients in my pantry, senza the frozen tuna. It is easy to throw together and is always delicious.

One of the problems that I have run into with these terrible coils that they call burners in this part of the country, is that when you are tossing the pasta in the sauce it dries out far too quickly. One of the solutions that I have come up with, and it works brilliantly, is to add about a cup of water from the pasta pot to the sauce before you drain the pasta, turn the heat up to a medium-high heat and it shouldn’t dry out.

Gemelli with Tuna, Raisins, Pine Nuts & Capers

  • 1 frozen tuna steak (It would be a shame to use a fresh tuna steak, you could also use good canned Italian or Spanish tuna in olive oil)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed (you can also use pickled capers)
  • 2 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts
  • toasted bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 lb of gemelli pasta
  • salt for pasta water

Defrost tuna steak and cut into small cubes, this will make it easier to break the tuna up into flakes when it is cooking. Fill a large pot with water for the pasta. Bring to a boil over high heat.

Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium-high heat and add the whole cloves of garlic. When garlic starts to sizzle add the tuna cubes. Sauté the tuna over high heat for a minute and lower heat to medium. Add the cup of white wine with the capers, raisins and the pine nuts and bring sauce to a boil, lower the heat and let simmer until the pasta is cooked. (If you are using canned tuna, wait until the pasta water is boiling to add the tuna).

Once the water starts to boil for the pasta add a small handful of salt to the water and bring to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

When the pasta is perfectly al dente, add a cup of the pasta water to the sauce, turn up the heat and drain the pasta. Without shaking all of the water out of the colander pour the pasta into the pan and toss it with the sauce. This allows for the pasta to cook a little longer in the sauce and to absorb the flavor.

Take the pan off of the heat and toss with the toasted bread crumbs and chopped mint. Serve immediately.

Chard Serving Suggestions

  • Serve chard raw or cooked.
  • Tender fresh chard leaves are good in salads. Chard thinnings can also be used in salads. Use cooked, chopped chard leaves in recipes calling for spinach.
  • Cut or tear the leaves from the stems and use them to line salad bowls or mix them with other torn greens in a salad. Make a layer of chard leaves in a casserole of scalloped potatoes or turnips.
  • Sprinkle tender, raw chard leaves with olive oil, garlic, and lemon. Season cooked chard leaves with a piece of salt pork or bacon.

Stewing chard, lentils, sweet potatoes

Chilled Beetroot Soup with Garlic and Thyme Toasts

Ain&rsquot this just the most gorgeous vegetable? Not only does it produce a stunning purple magenta colour when used in cooking, it is also low in fat &ndash full of vitamins and minerals and packed with antioxidants.

I think that is enough reason to incorporated this humble ingredient into our daily diets, don&rsquot you think?

I had a bunch of beetroot in the fridge I had to use up, so I decided to create a chilled soup, made with blending roasted beetroot, onion and garlic in a food processor after which the whole shebang ended up in a sieve to get the silky smooth consistency I desired.

Served with these amazingly flavorsome garlic and thyme toasts &ndash which will be the death of me &ndash this recipe is perfect as a starter &ndash if you need some entertaining inspiration.

Check out my Chocolate Brownie and Beetroot Cake I did for the month of love. Have a good one everybody!

Crumbed Chicken Puttanesca

Yes, Crumbed Chicken Puttanesca. That is what it is. No, I am not swearing just using some Italian lingo here. Italians just know how people. That is all.

Puttanesca is a basic sauce for pastas, adapted throughout the years, but mainly from Italian origin. It is a tomato and herb sauce with loads of garlic flavored with anchovies, capers and olives. Salty. Real salty.

My Puttanesca sauce however doesn&rsquot have the anchovies or the capers. Otherwise hubby would through me with it. The olives are pushing it too. But I guessed he could just pick those out. Men&hellip

Normally Puttanesca sauces are meant for pastas. My recipe of Crumbed Chicken Puttanesca are a perfect dinner idea and consists of crumbed chicken breasts, smothered in flavoursome Puttanesca sauce, with fresh basil, black olives and grated parmesan. Fantastico!

I served my Crumbed Chicken Puttanesca with roasted potato wedges and it was really good. This recipe is enough for four adults I counted a breast for each person. I hope you try this Italian favorite, and if you have some varieties of your own I would luuurve to hear it! Buon Appetito!

Italian and Swedish meatballs, step aside. These Turkish meatballs are so juicy, light, and flavorful—not to mention easy—they'll be rocking your party world this holiday season. And you've got to admit that hors d'oeuvre offerings can't get more festive than the accompanying pomegranate yogurt dip. If you can find labne (thick, Middle Eastern yogurt), use it. Strained whole-milk yogurt comes closer to the flavor of labne than Greek yogurt, but if you're short of time, Greek yogurt is a fine substitute.

Editor's Note: This recipe is part of Gourmet's Modern Menu for A New Years' Eve Pasrty. Menu also includes Bite-Size Chipotle Chicken Soft Tacos (tinga de pollo) and Parmesan Pepper Curly Kale Chips .

The Spice Garden

When one is trying to follow a Weight Watcher's regimen, vegetables are good friends! Consequently, I have been digging around for good vegetable and fruit recipes that are lighter and more diet friendly . got a winner here! Ina Garten's latest, how easy is that?, has given me this newest approach to cauliflower.

I lightened up on the olive oil a bit and halved the recipe, so that SB and I didn't have our fridge smelling of garlic and cauliflower today. Dinner last night, though? Basque hake with peas and mushrooms and this wonderfully aromatic platter of Garlic-Roasted Cauliflower. make it . I think you, too, will fall for it!

1 small head of cauliflower
5 large cloves of garlic
2 tbsp. olive oil
Kosher salt and black pepper
¼ c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp. pine nuts, lightly toasted
Juice and zest of half a lemon (about 1 tbsp. juice)

Nettle flan with fresh tomato coulis (Flan di ortiche) (page 229)

From Lidia's Italian Table: More Than 200 Recipes From The First Lady of Italian Cooking Lidia's Italian Table by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich

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  • Categories: Appetizers / starters Lunch Side dish Italian Vegetarian
  • Ingredients: nettles eggs nutmeg chives sage heavy cream tomatoes Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Rain, mud, storms, wind, sun, fog,… we’ve seen it all this week. The weather made harvesting and preparing shares this week very challenging. One thing to be aware of it tomatoes are in quick demise. We were unable to fill many tomato boxes and the good tomatoes for shares have dwindled. We may be down to only 1-2 more weeks. Today we are including some green tomatoes and we will hopefully have another round of green tomatoes in shares in the near future. Despite the rain, we have a great, hard-working, and fun-loving crew and manage to enjoy our work even in these conditions!

We are getting questions about the Fall CSA program. We will launch an 8-week fall CSA share immediately following the conclusion of our main season. The Main season ends October 15th and the Fall CSA starts on October 22nd. The Fall CSA is a smaller share with only 4-5 items a week. Cost is $160. In addition, we will be taking sign ups for Thanksgiving Box reservations. These are bulk veggies that can be picked up on the Tuesday prior to Thanksgiving. There will be two types of boxes to choose from (Fall Greens and/or Winter Storage), and each is $40. We will give a few days notice before the form is live so everyone can have fair chance to sign up. Expect sign ups later this month. We also will be selling seed garlic this fall for home gardeners looking to plant garlic at home. October is the best time to plant garlic in Kentucky.