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Author Notes: After making another version of this dish for the previous 52 contest, I had lots of leftovers from experimenting with it, supplemented by a large batch of cooked navy beans. So I made the lasagna again, this time adding the beans. For vegetarians and meat-eaters alike, this version is more substantive. (The chard filling is adapted, with many changes, from Boston's own Ana Sortun, whose eponymous restaurant, Oleana, is an inspiration for all who dine there. The rest of the dish came together when I was thinking fondly of Steve Johnson's restaurant, Rendezvous, where I was introduced to many new things, Comte among them. I love its nuttiness, which invites the walnuts and white beans.) The chard can be prepared several days in advance and ditto the cheeses, beans and bread crumbs, which will give you a pretty quick assembly time. —LE BEC FIN
Red Chard Agro Dolce
- 2 bunches Swiss chard (red or rainbow), washed, dried, and stem ends trimmed
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup small-dice white onion
- 4 flat anchovy fillets, mashed with fork
- 3 tablespoons golden raisins or currants
- 1-2 Tablespoons capers, rinsed
- 4 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- freshly ground black pepper
- optional fresh grated nutmeg
- Tear or slice the chard stems from the leaves. Coarsely chop the stems and set aside. Grasp a handful of leaves and roll up tightly, lengthwise. Cut the leaves crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips and set aside. Heat the oil in a medium large pan over medium heat until shimmering, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, anchovies, and raisins and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened, about 4 minutes. Add the capers and garlic and cook, stirring often, until the garlic is fragrant and lightly browned, about 1 minute. Add the reserved chard stems and cook until they start to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the chard leaves and cook, stirring, until they’re wilted, about 5 minutes. Add lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Transfer to bowl.
Assembling the Lasagna
- 12-16 ounces fresh Lasagna noodles, or box of dry
- Red Chard Agro Dolce from above
- 1 pound Comte cheese chopped up in small cubes(or crumbled chevre
- 4cups cooked white navy beans (or other dry beans or lentils)
- 2/3 cup Walnuts, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
- Freshly Ground Black Pepper
- 1/3- 1/2 cup Ground Parmesan
- ~ 1/4- 1/2 cup Dry Whole wheat bread crumbs, pan- toasted with a little unsalted butter
- 2 ounces Chopped , cold, unsalted butter
- Unless the fresh pasta is semi-transparently thin, blanch the noodles a few minutes (longer if dry) to al dente, in salted boiling water; lift out and into colander; rinse briefly in cold running water and dry on cloth towels. In a well- buttered or sprayed 9 x 13 inch ceramic dish, lay down one layer of noodles, overlapping slightly. Top with half the cooked chard mix. Spread out evenly to edges of pan.Lay down a second pasta layer, slightly overlapping, in the opposite direction from the first layer. Scatter half the: beans, cheese, breadcrumbs, and half the walnuts, and drizzle with half the heavy cream. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper. Top with another overlapping layer of noodle and the remaining chard mix. Top with the last pasta, the remaining beans, comte, bread crumbs and walnuts. Drizzle liberally with remaining heavy cream. Sprinkle a little fresh ground black pepper and the ground parmesan on top. Dot with unsalted butter. Cover the lasagna very loosely with buttered or sprayed parchment paper or foil and bake in the upper third of the oven for 15 minutes. Remove the parchment paper and bake for about 15 minutes longer, until the lasagna is bubbling and top is browned in spots. Tent with foil and let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe that Cleans Out the Fridge