Sometimes around dinner time, we stare out at our flourishing summer garden and ask ourselves, “So what should we have for dinner?”. We quickly asses what’s in abundance in the moment and take a quick mental stroll through our refrigerator. Every week is totally different.
I’ve had an alarming number of people tell me, “Your partner must be so lucky living with a nutritionist. He must eat well all the time!”. And if we’re being perfectly honest – it’s really the other way around. Sure, I know what nutrients are packed in each individual food and what food combo can be most beneficial for specific therapeutic benefit, but when it comes to cooking and preparing food – my partner puts me (and everyone I know) to shame. He is top notch, chef quality, creative mastermind in the kitchen. If we ever just had half an apple, vinegar and bread crumbs in the fridge, he would come up with some 5 star extravagant gourmet meal and invite friends over to share it. I’m dumbfounded at his talent. I give him random ingredients, and he makes the magic happen.
So, I must give him credit for this creation he whipped up last week when we had friends visiting from Charlottesville. We had a an intimidating amount of chard out in the garden that needed to get scarfed up, so he came up with this AMAZING rainbow chard Spanakopita dish that was just blissfully good. This recipe makes a large batch (and remember, chard cooks down a LOT). You can of course use the traditional spinach instead, and I encourage you to take on this unique chard twist for tangier flavor.
(At this point in the summer, we were able to use the chard, garlic and onions from our garden harvest. This makes our hearts and tummies extra happy)
- 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 small yellow onions, chopped
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 1/2 pounds fresh chard, rinsed and dried and chopped
- 2 cups crumbled firm feta cheese
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh dill
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh mint
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 frozen puff pastry sheets
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Add 4 tbsp olive oil to a large pot over medium heat When the oil is hazy, add the onions; cook and stir until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the chard in handfuls, folding the leaves under with a spoon as you add each batch. Let the spinach wilt and cook down before adding more. Once all the chard is in the pot, add the garlic for the remaining 4-5 minutes. The chard will have cooked down quite a bit.
Remove from the heat and transfer the chard mixture to a colander over the sink. Using the back of a spoon, gently press out all of the excess liquid. Set aside to cool; the filling needs to cool down a bit to prevent the dough from becoming soggy. Once the mixture is cool, add the feta, dill, mint, and eggs. Fold the ingredients together until well combined.
Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with oil. Working with 1 sheet at a time, lay the dough on a lightly floured surface and roll it out slightly to fit the pan. Line the bottom of the dish with the first piece of puff pastry, pressing into the corners. Trim off any excess. Spread the chard filling evenly over the puff pastry. Cover with the second sheet of dough, trimming around the edges of the dish. Brush the top with oil.
Bake until the top is puffed and golden brown, about 30 to 35 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Lindsay Kluge M.Sc, CNS, LDN HealthCoach@EllwoodThompsons.com