Monthly Archives: June 2013

Golumbki.

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Photography by Sam Armocido

Photography by Sam Armocido

Growing up, golumbki (pronounced ga-WUMP-ki) frequently graced our dinner table. Beef and rice, wrapped in cabbage leaves and baked in tomato sauce, would arrive to the table alongside bottles of ketchup and cider vinegar. Babci (my Polish grandmother) or Cioci Mary (her sister) would send them home in a casserole dish, or Mom would wrap and bake them in our kitchen. In case of emergency, there was always a foil pan tucked away somewhere in the basement freezer.

While this may seem the obvious origin for combining earthy chard, spicy chorizo and herbed rice, it’s not.

The recipe began with a bag of young Rainbow Chard leaves from Gardener’s Gourmet. The grounded, green flavor begged for fat and spice, bestowed by Mexican Chorizo sausage, smokey with pimentón, from the meat case at Canales. Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian for Everyone pointed to pairing cilantro with chard, which reminded me of arroz verde – rice infused with a paste of fresh herbs. The resulting pairing, splashed with Sapore’s Cava Rosé vinegar, was delicious. A kitchen victory!

Maybe I’ll try it with ketchup.

Chorizo and Chard with Green Rice

Serves 6-8

Photography by Sam Armocido

Photography by Sam Armocido

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 3 Mexican Chorizo sausages
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 pound young chard
  • 1 tsp Sherry or Cava Rosé* vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

*A new arrival at Sapore Oil and Vinegar.

Directions:

  • Warm oil in a large skillet. Remove sausage from casings and add to pan.
  • Cook, crumbling sausage until browned. Remove sausage from pan with a slotted spoon.
  • Add onion to pan and cook until softened, 3-5 minutes.
  • Add chard to pan and cook until wilted.
  • Return sausage to pan, with vinegar and cilantro. Mix.
  • Season to taste with salt, pepper and additional vinegar.

Green Rice

Photography by Sam Armocido

Photography by Sam Armocido

Ingredients:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 cup mixed herbs like cilantro, parsley and chives
  • 2 tbs dry sherry
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup rice

Directions:

  • Place garlic, herbs and sherry in a blender or food processor with 1/4 cup water. Purée.
  • Warm olive oil in a 2 quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add rice and cook 3-5 minutes until golden brown on edges.
  • Add garlic-herb past and cook an additional 2-3 minutes until herbs mellow and liquid is absorbed.
  • Add 2 cups water to pan. Cover and bring to a simmer. Turn heat to low and cook until water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Turn off heat and let rest for 10 minutes.
  • Fluff with a fork and serve topped with Chorizo and chard.
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Sweet enough.

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Photography by Sam Armocido

Photography by Sam Armocido

My Babci’s* rhubarb plants grew on the edge of her large garden, near the  maple tree, where we would sit and eat lunch at during the summer. My Mom’s plants sit on the back edge of my parents’s garden near the blueberry bushes. Each June the bright red stalks ripened about the same time we went strawberry picking.

Mom baked pies. My great aunt, Mary, made quick jam with rhubarb and strawberry jello. Babci gave us cups of sugar into which we’d dip the stalks and eat them raw.

Photography by Sam Armocido

Photography by Sam Armocido

Rhubarb is sharply bitter. Even with sugar it elicits a pucker. Cooked down into a thick, jammy chutney, I could still not imagine it without the balance of brown sugar.

But somehow, in this relish, it works. Balanced against ripe cherries, kept savory with shallot, bright with vinegar and warmed by cardamom it sits perfectly alongside rich meats – pork chops, grilled steaks and wild boar sausages*. You can use the food processor, but we hand chopped it. I like the texture and it keeps the flavors clearer. The extra few minutes in the kitchen provide extra time to chat, listen to music, or just enjoy the warm breeze coming in the window.

*Babci is Polish for grandmother. Wild Boar Sausages are available from Canales Quality Meats at Washington, DC’s Eastern Market.

Rhubarb Cherry Relish

Taste your cherries and your rhubarb. If the cherries don’t have much sugar or the rhubarb is particularly tart, you may need a pinch of sugar.

Makes 1 3/4 cups

Photography by Sam Armocido

Photography by Sam Armocido

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup roughly chopped rhubarb
  • 1 cup pitted and roughly chopped cherries
  • 1/4 cup diced shallot
  • 2 tsp minced basil
  • 1.5 tsp White Balsamic or Ruby Red Grapefruit Vinegar*
  • Cardamom

*A bright, fresh treat from Sapore Oil and Vinegar.

Directions:

  • Mix together rhubarb, cherries and shallot in a food processor.
  • Pulse a few times to desired texture. I prefer mine about the size of a fine dice. Remove to a small mixing bowl.
  • OR – finely hand chop the rhubarb, cherries and shallot and mix together in a small bowl.
  • Mix in basil and Ruby Red Grapefruit Vinegar. Season to taste with a pinch each of cardamom and salt.
  • If you make this ahead of time, check seasoning right before serving. As juices develop you may find you want a pinch more of salt or cardamom or a little more fresh basil.