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.