Friday, June 13, 2008
Taste and Create: Pastitsio with Swiss Chard, Dandelions and Nettles
The heat has finally subsided. That is to say, now it is just hot rather than cook you in your skin hot. Exhausted from work and life, last night I really wanted a warm, cheesy satisfying dinner in hopes that the fat and mouth-feel would elevate me.
And, Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska hooked me up. Laurie is my Taste and Create partner this month. I really think Laurie has a knack of making Greek food look lovely. Home food can be hard to present photographically. Tasty and pretty are not mutually exclusive (obviously) and Laurie is good at that intersection.
But, I so digress from dinner last night. We had almost everything we need for her Pastitsio in the fridge. A quick trip to pick up kasseri, a Greek melting cheese, and we were ready. Her recipe gave some latitude in the greens we could use. When I was reading her blog, I had this funny revelation. While India doesn’t seem exotic (much of family still lives there), Alaska sure does. Devil’s Club, Firesweed Shoots…Alaska just seems amazing. We made her Pastitisio using Swiss chard, dandelions and nettles to stay in her local greens spirit. We also used macaroni instead of penne, because Belle has serious opinions about pasta shapes. (Toddlers are sure idiosyncratic about food.)
The result was actually surprising—it was much lighter than I expected. Somehow I pictured down-home mac and cheese gone Amy Sedaris. But, it ended up being much more complex. The cheese was in the background with the greens as the star of the dish. This is definitely a recipe that we will eat again.
Labels: Vegetarian recipe