Yesterday was baking day in our household (in truth, most days are baking days), so that means we were baking bread. Now that it’s getting closer to summer, we switch from making loaves of bread to making rolls. They bake in about half the time, meaning you can get a bunch of dough in and out of the oven before the whole house seems like an oven. Not a small consideration.
Not only do rolls bake faster, but they are easier subjects on which to experiment with different flavors. Case in point, Gorgonzola-Pecan Rolls. We actually made a loaf of Gorgonzola-Pecan bread a couple of weeks ago, and three words fit it perfectly: Won. Der. Ful.
Yesterday when we were putting together dinner — of Mushroom Pea Tartlets with a side of carrot sticks, if you’re asking — we were thinking we’d like a dessert. We had planned to make Buttermilk Sweet Potato Pie, but, like the best laid plans this one went awry all because of bread. See, we made bread dough yesterday morning, which meant we had leftover starter, and that means we’ll make sourdough pancakes, which used up the buttermilk, so we had to make more, but that won’t be done for 24 hours, which means no Buttermilk Sweet Potato Pie last night.
Sorry, but we were so excited to try this recipe that we forgot to take photos while making up the dough. It wasn’t because Graham crackers are so exciting; rather, what you can do with Graham crackers. Think crusts for pies, cheesecakes, tarts, s’mores and so on, and, for the best crusts, you need the best Graham crackers, right?
This is the time of year that corn on the cob starts coming in from California. While we dread the idea of the amount of fertilizer and pesticides used on cornfields, it is really hard to resist the pull of fresh corn. So, we buy it from time to time, generally when it’s being sold at some ridiculous loss-leader price like 6 ears for a dollar. When it’s that cheap, we don’t even bother looking through the corn to avoid a bad ear; our time is worth more than 16 cents. Yes, we sometimes get a bad ear or two, bu, with this recipe, you can turn those less-than-pristine ears into a crispy, tasty treat.
While we call this Swiss Chard Lasagna, it is really more of a Greens Lasagna, or, for those who are a bit less adventurous when it comes to eating different types of greens, it might be called Spinach Lasagna. They are all the same, except for the type of greens used, so consider this a core recipe that should become part of your go-to repertoire.
And what, pray tell, are quelites you ask. Quelites, often translated as wild spinach, refers to any of several wild edible greens; this weeks quelites we amaranth greens. We know, for some people, that doesn’t help either, so just think of them as greens that grow like weeds (most US farmers consider them weeds and eradicate them, our farmer harvests them and sends them in our share). We find amaranth greens to taste pretty bland so we traded them for more carrots.
We’ve already eaten the artichokes, steamed with celery seed, lemon, onion, and dill. Some of the rosemary went into a batch of Rosemary-Sage Oven Fries, most rosemary that remains is sitting in a glass of water in the hopes that at least one sprig will grow roots, so we can grow our own rosemary. Everything else, well, we’ll see.
Update May 1: The beets we had as a side. Simply boil, remove skins, and quarter. Yum. Some of the carrots went into a Carrot Cake Conserve and Polish Carrot Salad. Turnips are still a problem, we had one mixed in with hash browns and one in a batch of Corn Chowder. We find that a little bit of turnip can be added to potatoes and it is difficult to tell that they are in there. The beans and the kale are still awaiting a use.
Simon Pearce is probably our favorite restaurant in the country — everything we’ve had there is just so scrumptious. We no longer go there very often, at least since we’ve moved across the country, but the memories of their food are vivid, and we plan on refreshing those memories this June when we head back to New England for a niece’s wedding.
One of our favorite parts about dining at Simon Pearce is the small breads they bring out when you are seated: Ballymaloe Brown Bread and Rory’s Scones. Now, we know that we’ll never match those made at the restaurant — for the Brown Bread the restaurant imports a wholemeal flour from Ireland — but we try.