This is one of the best recipes I tried without knowing how swiss chard tastes which I found in my local farmers market and since then it is one of the main characters in my kitchen as the season allows.
If you would like to read more about farmers market and local eating have a look at this website and watch the video if you can.
And more links, the recipe is by famous Irish chef Dennis Cotter who has a special place in my heart:
Wild Garlic, gooseberries and me… Even the name of the book makes my mouth water : )
black pepper and salt to season
250 – 300 gr of medium tomatoes – real recipe is with plum tomatoes but these are ok for me
100 – 150 gr of puy lentils – again I did it once with green lentils which were soaked one night, not as tasty as puy lentils but good
1 kg of swiss chard, with stalks
3 – 4 garlic cloves (real recipe says 2 but I am a garlic lover do not go out after dinner then!)
100 ml white wine
50 gr parmesan or any other hard cheese – I used feta cheese once it was very delicious!
Here we go:
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C, slice the tomatoes and place them in a single layer on a tray, season with black pepper and olive oil roast for 15 – 20 minutes.
2. Boil the puy lentils for about 20 minutes, they should be tender, cool them under cold water.
3. Separate the chalks and the leaves, cook the leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes then chop them and mix with lentils in a bowl, add black pepper and salt.
4. Chop the garlic and stalks (not more than 2 cms thick) and fresh thyme and cook them with olive oil for 5 minutes. Then, add the white wine and cover them with a piece if baking parchment and lower the hob and leave like that for 20 minutes, they will get soft. Do not let them dry.
5. (Dennis Cotter uses an oven dish about 24 x20 cm but I am happy with mine) Pour the lentil and leaf mixture over tomatoes then add the stalks with its juice and finally top up with breadcrumbs and cheese. Grill for 5 – 10 minutes. I let the cheese turn brown then serve it with wild rice or bulgur pilau.
6. Oh! I add some lemon juice over the leaves before I serve and I like it very much!
Believe me this dish is an art! Enjoy and let me know how you find it!