Strong Is How We Live

Yellow donut peaches from Smit Orchards. Purrr.

So I was snooping around on the Livestrong website, to see what they know, and I came across a recipe someone had contributed from a book called “Take 6 Ingredients.”

(It should have been a clue, shouldn’t it, that the contributor spelled it “Igredients.” Alas for my optimism.)

The recipe involved Swiss chard, peaches, quail, muscat wine, and a couple other unmentionables.
The directions? “Roast.”
Thanks, CLantz. Livestrong and prosper.

At this time of year, you won’t get me to roast a gosh-darn thing.
However, Swiss chard and peaches sounded like kind of a good idea. And quail, if you can get it, never hurt anybody. (Except maybe the quail.)
So we’ll give CLantz the benefit of the doubt and take a cooler riff on his/her enigmatic 6-“igredient” dish.

Swiss Chard and Peach Salad
1 large bunch Swiss chard
1 cup sorrel or lemon basil leaves
3/4 cup chopped Armenian cucumber (you want it to be Armenian so that it offsets the peaches nicely)
2-3 very ripe peaches (yellow, white or a mixture thereof)
1/2-1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup walnut pieces
1/4 crumbled Gorgonzola cheese
1 T mayonnaise
1/4 flaxseed oil
2 tsp lime juice
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
Salt and pepper

Mix the mayonnaise, flaxseed oil, lime juice and pomegranate molasses together in the bottom of a large salad bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add all the veg to the bowl and toss with the dressing. Gently add the peaches, tomatoes, cheese and walnuts on top and toss a little more, but be careful because the peaches and cheese might get mushy if you’re too aggressive.

Add as much as you like of shredded, cooked chicken, or quail, or whatever fowl you fancy.
Definitely drink it with a dry white wine, to get the most out of your peaches.

So that was my idea. And then, with a little more research, I found out that I wasn’t far off the mark! (Which is generally what I aim for.) It’s always nice to feel validated by other bloggers. Stacey at Words to Eat By has a more substantive version of what I thought I’d invented, with the addition of summertime sweet corn and quinoa. Plus, she says it makes great homemade baby food, too. I might find that handy someday…you might find it handy right now!
Summery Swiss Chard, Corn, Peach, and Quinoa Salad from Words to Eat By
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves removed and thinly sliced, stems chopped (rainbow is especially pretty here)
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 ear corn
1 large, ripe peach, peeled, pitted, and chopped (mine was so ripe I used a paring knife to peel, or you can blanch and plunge)
1 scallion, white and some green parts, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped herbs (I used basil & parsley)
1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons flavorful extra-virgin olive oil (a nut oil would be nice here, too)
2 tablespoons fruity vinegar, such as Trader Joe’s Orange Muscat Vinegar

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, covered to speed things up. Add the chard stems and cook for 3 minutes, then add the leaves and cook another 3 minutes. Drain into a colander and rinse well with cold water, to stop the cooking, then drain again. If you’ll be using right away, squeeze the chard to remove any excess water (otherwise refrigerate it in the colander to drain more fully).
Bring the quinoa and 2 cups of lightly salted water to a boil in a small saucepan. Let it boil for 5 minutes—watch it to ensure it doesn’t bubble over—then cover and set aside for at least 15 minutes. Once all the water’s been absorbed, allow quinoa to cool.
If your corn is super-fresh (as in, picked today), use a large knife to strip the kernels into a salad bowl. Picked yesterday or earlier? Cook it lightly. I microwave it for 2 1/2 minutes. Once it’s cool enough to handle, strip the kernels into the bowl.
Transfer chard and quinoa to the bowl, and add the peach, scallion, herbs, and almonds.
Put the mustard, oil, and vinegar into a small air-tight container with some freshly ground pepper. Shake well, until combined, then pour over the salad and toss well.

MAKE BABY FOOD! Put this in the blender with a splash of oil or water and it’s a lovely puree for the earliest eaters—skip the almonds if you have a family history of nut allergies. If you’ll be serving as finger food, make sure the chard is chopped into small pieces.

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