Monday, November 22, 2010

Roasted Squash w/Figs, Toasted Walnuts and Swiss Chard

Secret Ingredient
I was inspired to (re)create this recipe after watching chef Steve Schimoler, of Crop Bistro serve it to the couple who were sharing the chef's table with us after the Fabulous Food Show.  The couple were vegan (and hopefully cleared honey as an ingredient), so Steve presented their entire seven course tasting menu of dishes that he basically created on the spot, including this one.

It was almost as fun watching him take on the vegan challenge as it was watching him present our dishes. Almost. Did I mention Lobster Cappucino and Crispy Pork Belly with Piquillo Pepper Relish?

We were of course sitting right in the thick of the action, and he described each dish in detail when he presented them, and this looked and sounded so good.  The couple really enjoyed it, and when we asked they described it as more figgy than nutty.

Toasted Walnuts & Chopped Dried Figs
In addition to the toasted walnuts, and chopped dried Mission figs, there was also Swiss Chard, which I am still harvesting from my ornamental bed in front of my house.  I chopped the stems and leaves separately.

Chard Stems - Pink Lipstick Chard

Chard Leaves
I sauteed the chard stems in a skillet with a little walnut oil until tender, then added the leaves.  Once the leaves were cooked, I tossed in the toasted walnuts and chopped figs.

I was making a balsamic reduction (also used by chef Steve), by reducing about a half cup of cheap balsamic in a small pan, when I went to check on the laundry and was greeted with Squirrel Gate 2010.  I turned the pan off while I dealt with acorn deluge, and of course it instantly turned to pan cement.  The only way to get it out is to add more liquid and reheat it.  Which is why the finished recipe is a little dark.

Final Dish
I topped it with a drizzle of Lulu White Truffle Honey , 9-Ounce Jar, which makes anything instantly awesome.  While I still love the concept, and will probably attempt to re-tweak it with less balsamic, and perhaps some quinoa or farro, this one was good, but not great, but it provided a needed cooking distraction for the night before surgery.

Fortunately I had a couple of chef Steve's leftover lamb chops and a few bites of his awesome Savory Pumpkin Sage Bread Pudding, which I was glad to find the recipe for on-line, to make up for it.

1 comment:

  1. A wonderful post, thanks for sharing. This is a delicious recipe, love the swiss chard!


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