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Posts Tagged ‘Catskills local food’

Remember what I said about Deborah’s extraordinary vegetarian cooking?  She was gracious enough to send me her recipe for Swiss chard tart.  Here’s what she says:

As for chard tart, tip of the hat to Patricia Wells, from whose recipe this jumps off with a few modifications–it’s actually an olive-oil crust:
The crust is l cup of flour (I use something called white whole-wheat made by King Arthur, but you can use whole-wheat pastry, or some combo of wh wh and white),plus a couple of large pinches of salt, to which you add l/4 cup ice water–mix in–and then l/4 cup olive oil. It can be mixed with the hands, and it will be very moist and soft, like cookie dough sort of. Doesn’t need to be refrigerated–press it into the tart pan with your hands (the recipe fits something like an 8-9 inch pan, but can easily be multiplied to larger vessels). Filling is–well, I don’t know how to describe the amount of chard, but a very big bunch, anyhow–chop it roughly after washing, wilt it in its own water in a saucepan, add to 3 beaten eggs, l/2 to one cup Parmesan or other cheese, salt, pepper. Coat bottom of crust with Dijon mustard, put in filling, and bake at 400 degrees until firm and golden, roughly 30 minutes, depending on your oven.
Doesn’t need to be served absolutely hot from the oven–perhaps more flavorful having cooled off a bit…

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We’re roving through rural New York this long weekend.  After driving through the Green Mountains of Vermont, over countless hills and through countless valleys, we came into the Catskills with its countless rivers, having passed through the little towns where my mother’s mother and mother’s father were born and raised—Kingston, Callicoon Center—and where they married and started their own family—Liberty.

Our first stop was Kenoza Lake, where we visited our friends Deborah and Jed in their pewter-blue-painted farmhouse, fixed up with many windows, a writing room for him in the attic, a studio for her in the old barn or chicken house or mudroom adjacent the kitchen.  We arrived for a late lunch in the sun: plates of lox and ricotta, sourdough bread, babaganoush, hard-boiled eggs, farmhouse cheeses from around the corner, white wine for some, Coronas for others.  For dessert, we went into the hilly acres of bushes heavy with blueberries and huckleberries.  Because of all of the rain this summer, and the general cloud cover, we picked berry by berry, rather than cluster by cluster.  There were still plenty of berries for Jack.

blueberry picking
Deborah and I went into Jeffersonville to check out the small farmers’ market, where she bought striped Romanesco zucchini and a big head of romaine.

many currants, few zucchini

many currants, few zucchini

Deborah is a wonderful vegetarian cook.  For dinner, after their favorite aperitif—Campari with pulpy orange juice—she served Swiss chard pie (I’ll post a recipe soon…) in a buttery crust, quinoa with pinenuts and golden raisins, and roasted cauliflower with ginger and herbs—out of which she coaxed extraordinary carmelized flavors.

Our next stop will be Margaretville and Roxbury, for Aaron and Kelly’s wedding.  We hope these thunderheads roll on by.

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