Ciao a tutti, here is a simple, delicious dish using garden fresh produce!
Yesterday my friend Enzo dropped off some goodies from his amazing garden, including some beautiful fresh Swiss chard. Since I wanted something light but at the same time very flavourful, I created a lovely Swiss chard parmigiana – light, healthy, easy to make, and most of all, super delicious.
Here is the recipe. Enjoy!
For the parmigiana:
- 1 bunch fresh Swiss chard (red or yellow are nice too!)
- Some olive oil for frying (a cheap olive oil will do it)
- 1/2 lbs fresh buffalo or fresh Mozzarella
- 1 cup grated pecorino cheese or parmigiano
- Flour for dusting
For the tomato sauce:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 bottle of Italian passata (700 gr. strained Italian tomatoes)
- 1/3 lbs ripe cherry tomatoes or Campari tomatoes
- 1 shallots
- 2 garlic cloves
- Some fine sea salt
- A handful fresh Basil
To make a quick tomato sauce:
- Finely dice the shallot and peel the garlic, leaving it whole.
- Add ¼ cup olive oil into a large enough pot and set at medium high heat.
- Add the shallots and whole garlic and fry for 5 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t burn; lower the heat if necessary.
- Add the tomato passata, rinse the bottle with 1.5 cups of water and pour into the sauce. Yes the sauce is going to be thin, but don’t panic!
- Add the whole basil, no need to chop it up, and push it into the sauce.
- Season with fine sea salt and lightly stir. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring once in a while.
In the meantime:
- Wash the Swiss chard and cut 1 inch off of the stem and discard.
- Dry the Swiss chard.
- Prepare a large sheet or plate with paper towel at the bottom to absorb extra oil from the fried Swiss chard and set aside.
- Pour roughly 1 inch of olive oil into a frying pan and set at high heat.
- Dust into a large plate the Swiss chard leaves with flour, do it in batches and set aside.
- Once the oil is hot, sprinkle some flour in it. When it sizzles, the oil is ready.
- Fry the Swiss chard very fast for 10 seconds on each side, make a few batches since the leaves are large, cut them in half if you need to.
- Transfer the swish chard into the plate with paper towels.
Now for the parmigiana:
- Preheat the oven at 400.
- Take a large enough baking or ceramic pan and evenly coat the bottom with sauce. Dust with some grated cheese.
- Now lay half of the fried Swiss chard.
- Dice the mozzarella and cut the tomatoes in half or quarter them if they’re bigger and evenly add to the Swiss chard.
- Dust with more cheese and add few scoops of tomato sauce.
- Now add the final layer with the remaining of the Swiss chard.
- Add more sauce on top to evenly coat and dust with more grated cheese. Since there is salt in the cheese and sauce I don’t add any more salt at this point.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top is lightly roasted.
This dish is great served hot or at room temperature!