Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spicy, Gingery Chard with Eggs

How could I have gone so long on this blog without mentioning Martha? Years ago I found an Indian-spiced, curried-tomatoes-with-egg dish in her magazine, but tonight I had CHARD to use up. Gorgeous, rainbow-stemmed organic chard. Seemed to me chard would work just as well as the main ingredient, and it most definitely did.

This makes a great, quick dinner. I served it with whole wheat chapati (really just whole-wheat tortillas from the health food store freezer section) and sliced mango. I know! I should be using local fruit! But when I go to Costco I can't resist their lovely champagne mangoes ... they are buttery soft, sweet and flavorful. Besides, it's good to let one's local nectarines and cantaloupes ripen for another day.
Adapted from Martha Stewart Living

Garam masala is a mellow Indian spice mixture that I prefer over the turmeric and cumin called for. It has a wonderfully, slightly sweet, spicy complexity.

1 tablespoon ghee, coconut oil, or vegetable oil
3 small bunches tender, young chard
2 fresh tomatoes
1/2 of a red onion, diced, or a few shallots

1 tablespoon garam masala, or curry powder, or a mixture of turmeric and cumin
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 serrano pepper, chopped (seeded if it's too hot)

Salt and pepper

3 to 5 fresh eggs

Wash chard, trim stem ends, and tear leaves away from stems. Chop the stems in 1/2-inch pieces, and pile the leaves in a big bowl. Run your kitchen shears through chard leaves a few times to chop them down.

Chop the garlic, ginger and serrano in a small food processor or by hand.

In large skillet, heat oil on medium heat, and add chopped chard stems and onion. Cook for a few minutes until onions begin to soften.

Sprinkle the garam masala over the tomato mixture, and stir for a minute or so to toast the spice and bring out the flavor. Add the tomatoes, stir, and cook for a few minutes to release tomato juices. Stir in the chopped ginger, garlic and serrano. Add a little water if mixture is dry.

When tomato mixture is bubbling nicely, toss in the chopped chard leaves, and cover for a few minutes, letting the chard cook down. Stir, and continue cooking until chard is wilted and cooked. Make sure there's enough liquid in the pan to keep all from sticking.

Sprinkle in salt and pepper to taste. Stir, then make 3 or 5 (depending on how many eggs you are using) indentions in the chard with a large spoon.

Break each egg into a small bowl, then tip into an indention. Cover pan and let eggs simmer for 5 minutes, or until whites are set. It's nice to have the yolks be a little runny (I think), but you may feel differently.

You can sprinkle a little cilantro over the top if you have some. I didn't, and didn't miss it.

Serves 2 to 4.

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