Friday, May 20, 2011

In Preparation for the Rapture

Today's blog entry is all about preparing for the rapture and the type of foods suitable for such an occasion..and a grand one it is! Personally when my final days are before me, I want a delicious spread of sweet, savory, sour and grilled, and that is just what I have for you here.
I've never tried to pickle chard stems before and WHAT. HAVE. I.BEEN. DOING. WITH. MY. LIFE!? I feel like I want the last 10 years of my life back so I can pickle chard stems everyday and eat them at every meal. If you don't like to eat the stems when you prepare chard, save them and pickle them!

Strawberry Preserves
4 cups strawberries, thinly sliced
1/2 cup organic cane sugar
large zest strips and white part from 1/2 lemon
4 fresh thyme sprigs (optional but recommended!)

Combine the strawberries, sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Toss to combine and let sit for one hour, tossing every 20 minutes or so.
Transfer to a small pot and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 4 minutes then spoon the strawberries out of the juice and into a jar. Continue to simmer the juice and lemon for 4 minutes more until thick and syrupy. Remove the lemon zest and pour the syrup over the strawberries. Add the thyme sprigs in the jar, cool and cover.

Grilled Vegetable Salsa
1 eggplant, 1/2" slices
1 large tomato, thick slices
1 jalapeno, halved, seeded
1 large sweet onion, 1/4" rings
1 red bell pepper, large pieces
3 garlic cloves, whole
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

Preheat a grill to high heat. Grill all of the vegetables including the garlic until tender and charred. Roughly chop and transfer to a food processor. Add olive oil and salt to taste and pulse to desired consistency.

Pickled Swiss Chard Stems
2 cups water
Stems from 2 large bunches, 1/2" pieces
1/2 cup vinegar
1 tsp organic cane sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

Bring the water to a boil. Add the chard stems and boil for 10 minutes. Drain and combine the stems with the remaining ingredients, cover and let sit 1 hour to 4 days.

Radish, Celery Leaf and Red Potato Salad with Celery-Lemon Butter
2 large red potatoes, large dice
Leaves from 1 large bunch of celery plus 2 tender stalks from the center
1 bunch of radishes, whole unless large, than halved
3 tbl minced chives
3 tbl earth balance vegan butter, softened
zest and juice from 1/2 lemon
salt and pepper

Bring the potatoes to a boil in a pot of salted water and cook until tender. Drain and toss with all but 3 tbl of celery leaves. Add the radishes, chives, lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Combine the butter, lemon zest, remaining 3 tbl of celery leaves, salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix to combine. Toss with the hot potatoes and serve warm or at room temperature.

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