23 June 2009
I have to admit that I am having a teeny bit of a hard time keeping up with the produce that my CSA has been throwing my way (even though we only have half a share). What is mostly to blame is the fact that Jeff and I have been traveling fiends for the past month: first we went camping in the Catskills, last weekend we went to Reunion ('04Ever!), and Friday we're off again, this time for an extended 10 days. This time, we're headed to Colorado, to see both sets of parents, friends, and some mountains. In the meantime, I've been trying to clear out my fridge, with limited success. Today, though, I did finish up my chard from last week. Thank goodness. Tomorrow looks like more chard... it may be a stir-fry night.
In any case, if you need something to do with chard (besides lap it up with fried eggs, of course), I highly suggest these darling little rolls. Though I have to say that next time, I would increase the number of rolls to about 15 or so, maybe even a few more. I also only had about half of the chard recommended, which was fine, I think. I might also make a quick tomato sauce to replace the béchamel. Actually, this is one of the great things about Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone: her recipes are solid, but often need a little tweaking (mostly for salt). And with her, it's fairly easy to figure out what to do, because her recipes are familiar enough, but also not.
Cannelloni with Chard Filling, adapted from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone
12 sheets no-boil lasagna noodles (Barilla is a good bet)
béchamel sauce, made with 1 1/2 cups milk, 3 tablespoons butter, 3 1/2 tablespoons flour; also salt and pepper to taste
2 large bunches chard, stems removed
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 white onion, finely diced
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup fresh ricotta cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
salt, pepper, and grated nutmeg, to taste
1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, and blanch the chard for 5 minutes. Remove chard, and pour water over noodles, to soak them, 5 minutes. Set aside while you rinse the chard under cold water; squeeze dry, finely chop, and put into a large bowl. When the noodles are "done", place them on clean kitchen towels to rest; discard water.
2. Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and parsely and cook until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the onion to the chard and mix with the ricotta, half of the Parmesan, lemon zest, and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg. Season with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.
3. Meanwhile, make your béchamel: heat the butter and flour over medium-low heat, whisking constantly for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture starts to turn lightly brown. Gradually add the milk, still whisking constantly, until it is nice and thick. Not milkshake thick, but definitely getting there. Remove from heat.
4. Butter a shallow baking pan and preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Shape and fill the cannelloni: place about 2-3 tablespoons filling onto one edge of the pasta, and roll fairly firmly, as though you were making a fat cigar. Place into pan seam side up, nestled next to each other. Pour béchamel over rolls, and bake until lightly browned and bubbling, about 30 minutes.