I don't know where to start except to say that Yotam Ottolenghi is magical. Last February I had never heard of the guy. I now consult his cookbooks before doing my grocery shopping. 

First there were the meatballs with shallots and figs and the arugula, artichoke & herb salad, then that flakey muttabaq and the fish cakes in tomato sauce, all in the span of a single week! In April Anna busted out the black pepper shrimp, and May brought his spanikopita-style herb pie. In June we apparently forgot what was good for us, but we made up for it in July with that pesto potato salad. And oh dear lord in September the fresh corn polenta with the eggplant sauce! There should be hymns about these cookbooks, this man. He is a genius.

This week we've been on another bender. Friday we made puy lentils with roasted tomatoes and gorgonzola. Sunday I consumed an entire pound of Lucas's Swiss chard sautéed with wine and garlic and topped with toasted pine nuts a garlic-lemon-tahini yogurt sauce. A few minutes ago we polished off the last of the season's eggplants roasted and stuffed with lamb and pine nuts. I'll start with the Swiss chard. 


Generally speaking, Swiss chard is not my favorite green. I'll take arugula or kale over it any day. But wilted down, garlic-ed up, and sauced, Swiss chard becomes divine. Tahini, yogurt, and pine nuts can do that to things. This recipe is adapted slightly from Jerusalem by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi. It serves 4.

3 and 1/2 tablespoons tahini
4 and 1/2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons water
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 large bunch Swiss chard
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup white wine
sea salt and pepper to taste

First make the sauce. Whisk together the tahini, yogurt, lemon juice, water, and 1 clove minced garlic and set aside. 

Get out a big soup pot. Fill it about 2/3 full with water, salt it, and bring it to a boil. Chop the chard, separating the stalks from the leaves. Cut the stems into 1/4 inch pieces and add them to the boiling water. Simmer for 2 minutes, then add the chopped leaves. Simmer another minute, drain, and run cold water over the chard. Squeeze out any extra water.

In a large frying pan, warm up the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and toast until they're golden. Use a slotted spoon to remove them and set aside. Add the garlic to the remaining oil and butter in the pan, cook for about a minute, then add the wine. Let the liquid reduce by half, then add the chard and stir until warm. Season with sea salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot, topped with a dollop of the yogurt-tahini sauce and toasted pine nuts. 


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