April 17, 2012

Swiss Chard Pie

A few days hiatus and I'm back with a new vegetable. New Veggie #26 is Swiss Chard. I looked for a few recipes online and then came across one that seemed perfect  (Fat Free Vegan Kitchen/Savory Swiss Chard Pie) except I didn't have a couple of ingredients but I figured I could use a couple of substitutes. Unfortunately, halfway through my preparations, my blender decided to go belly-up on me ... and that started a downward spiral for this recipe. My pie didn't look half as pretty as the original recipe :(

Prep Time: 60 min

  1. I bunch of Swiss Chard (mine had about 9 big leaves in it)
  2. 5-6 stacks of Celery (the original recipe calls for a medium onion)
  3. 2 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 12 oz firm/extra-firm Silken tofu, drained
  5. 1/4 cup (60 ml) plain soy milk
  6. 1 tbsp Cornstarch
  7. 1 tbsp roasted slivered almonds (I didn't have any cashews on hand)
  8. 4 tbsp dried onion flakes (I figured I'd add a little more since I used Celery instead of the onion)
  9. 1/8 tsp turmeric
  10. 1 pinch nutmeg
  11. 1/8 tsp cayenne
  12. 1/8 tsp Cumin powder (donno why I added this).
  13. 2 tsp tsp dried Cilantro leaves (I didn't have any Thyme, or any of Thyme substitutions on hand!).
Directions: Here's the recipe as I made it and it came out quite so-so! I think I made several mistakes and some of my modifications/substitutions didn't work really as well as I hoped they would.  So, first step - preheat oven to 375F. The original recipe called for a 9" ceramic pie pan and all I had was glass, so that's what I used (first mistake!). According to Susan Voisin .. "Wash the chard but do not dry. Remove the center stem from each leaf. Set the leaves aside and chop the stems into small pieces. In a large skillet, sauté the onion and chard stems until softened (about 5 minutes), adding a tablespoon of water if necessary to prevent sticking." I added a splash of soy milk at this stage (second mistake?). Susan goes on to say "Meanwhile, cut the chard leaves into bite-sized pieces. Add them to the pan along with the garlic, reduce heat, and cover. Cook until all chard is wilted. Remove from heat. If any water has accumulated, drain it; then spread chard in bottom of prepared pie pan." I decided NOT to drain the water in the pan (its full of nutrients, I thought!). Well, I'm quite certain that was mistake #3.  Fatfree Vegan, Susan goes on to say "Place tofu and remaining ingredients in a blender, and puree until very smooth. Pour over the chard in the pie pan. Use a spoon to gently open holes through the chard so that the tofu mixture penetrates it. Smooth the top so that tofu layer is even and covers all the chard." ... Well since my blender was broke, I decided to whisk all my ingredients really well and then pour it on the chard. That might have been mistake #4. Given that my recipe was extremely watery, I had to bake the pie for 45 minutes to get anywhere near the coloration that fatfree vegan shows on her website. But after 45 minutes of baking, the center was well set and the top of the pie was nice and crusty. At this point, I remove it from the oven and allowed it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Savory Swiss Chard Pie
My AssessmentNext time I'll try the recipe 'as written' to give it another whirl. 

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