Vegan Late Summer Strata

Last night’s dinner was a bit thrown together but because of a CSA pick up from Lindentree and a lucky Davis Square farmers market coincidence we had a delicious, local, farm to table meal. My picky diner had spinach fettuccini from Valicenti and edamame from our organic Lindentree CSA. The rest of us enjoyed a London broil from River Rock Farm out of Brimfield. The real piece de (no) resistance though was this layered improv dish.


-3 smallish leeks or 2 large leeks
-1 TBSP of olive oil, this can be plain, regular, olive oil
-A little extra good olive oil to drizzle
-1 bunch of rainbow chard about 6-8 stems
-3 small potatoes (I used red potatoes.)
-kernels from 4-6 ears of fresh or leftover cooked corn on the cob
-3-4 large tomatoes
-Fresh or dried herbs. (I used thyme.)
– Optional non-vegan ingredient: cheese. A hard or semi soft cheese that will melt nicely like a Raclette, Cheddar, young Gruyère or Gouda.

1- Cut the kernels off the corn with a knife or corn zipper.
2- Wash but do not dry the chard and pull the leaves off the stem by gently grabbing the leaf at the spot where the stalk ends and the leaf begins and then gently sliding up to the top pulling the leaf off as you go.
3- Chop the stalk into 1/2 inch slices. Then, chop the leaves by stacking them. Cut once down the middle of the leaves and then slice the leaves across into 1 inch strips (No precision needed here.)
4- Wash and thinly slice the potato no more than 1/8th inch thick.
5- Slice the tomatoes at least 1/4 inch thick but thicker works well too.
6- Take the outer layer off the trimmed leeks. Slice down the leeks lengthwise in half. Then, slice leeks into 1/4 inch half moons. If leeks are sandy, soak them in a large bowl of water. After a few minutes gently lift leeks out of the water and dry on a towel.

1- On the stove top, in a large pan that is oven-safe and can go under a broiler (I used a 10 inch cast iron skillet.) heat the olive oil.
2- Toss in the leeks and sauté for 3 minutes.
3- Add the chard stalks to the leeks and sauté for 2 more minutes.
4- Add the potato slices and try to get the potatoes spread out along the bottom of the pan.
5-Carefully create a carpet of chard leaves over the potatoes, chard and leeks. This will help the potatoes steam. Let it all cook for 3 more minutes.
6- Pour the corn kernels over the chard leaves to create another layer. Sprinkle salt and pepper over the corn. Let it cook for about 2-3 minutes until the corn is heated through.
7- Add slices of tomato over the corn to cover. Drizzle the tomatoes with a good olive oil (I used Aria olive oil from Formaggio Kitchen after seeing it here in Boston Magazine in Leah Mennies’ story celebrating Jody Adams’ Rialto).
8- Sprinkle the tomatoes with chopped fresh or dried herbs (I used oregano.) and a little more salt. This is a great time to use a Maldon sea salt or nice finishing salt. A smoked salt or truffled salt could be delicious here too.
9- If using cheese grate or thinly slice with a cheese slicer or vegetable peeler. Cover all or some of the tomatoes with the cheese.
10- Put the cast iron pan under the broiler until the cheese is golden and the tomatoes blister a little.
11- Eat and enjoy.



13 Comments Add yours

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) says:

    Sometimes those improv dishes turn out to be some of the best. That sounds amazing!


    1. leahklein says:

      I know right?! I should stop being so afraid of them.


  2. Delicious! Love the colors and how it came together! Adding this to our list of recipes to try!


  3. Nadia says:

    Sounds great, and I have many of those ingredients. We just might be eating this tonight 🙂


  4. This looks amazing! I’ve never cooked with or even purchased chard, but it always looks so pretty and tasty!


  5. It is so beautiful! I love eating things that look pretty! We eat gluten free at our home, so I will be pinning this one to try!


  6. Kris Bria says:

    Looks beautiful! I’m sure it tasted great too. Can’t wait to try to duplicate it.


  7. 5starsmommy says:

    Any chance you can come to my house and cook us a meal 🙂 I have a guest room!


  8. Um, delicious!!!!! And so pretty. Pinning now so I don’t forget 🙂 A perfect use for that CSA bounty!!


  9. Looks delicious Leah! Loving those bright colors! YUM.


  10. Okay, honestly? I need you to be my personal chef – you know, if you were actually offering your services and I had the money to hire a personal chef. Lol. I guess I’ll just have to stare at your mouthwatering photos and wish I had half the creativity you do in the kitchen!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s