I wish I could say that I was completely in love with this particular recipe ... which is a shame, as the freshness of the chard was terrific! And had I followed my instincts instead of the recipe, I might have been raving right now, instead of delivering a 'meh' review of Yotam Ottolenghi's recipe for a warm sauté of chard, winter squash, and chick peas. It all 'went South' when I added the yogurt dressing over all that fresh and beautiful chard, squash, and chickpeas - far too much tartness for my taste.
I think I want to make this again and have the dressing on the side, as a dipper for an accompanying flat bread. I really think that a warm bread alongside this vegetable dish would make for a perfect meatless meal - much more authentic than having it sit beside a medium rare steak, as I did this evening.!
Okay ... so that being said I do have to say that the combination of chard, squash, and beans works really well. The combination of onions, caraway and cumin aromatics make for a strong flavour base for the vegetables and beans. Because the latter all have good substance, they stand up well to the former! As I think further about the pairing of flat bread with this dish, I keep taking it a bit further - put the vegetables on the baked flat breads with a bit of feta cheese, get it hot in the oven, drizzle just a tad of the cool dressing over top and make a middle eastern bruschetta/pizza! Yum!
Yes, I will be re-visiting this recipe, but I'll be tweaking it- for sure.
Sauté of Chickpeas, Butternut Squash, and Chard
a Yotam Ottolenghi recipe
70 g dried chickpeas
1 tsp. baking soda
7 tbsp. olive oil, divided as per instructions
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. caraway seeds
½ tsp. sugar
1 ½ tsp. cumin
100 g Swiss chard leaves, washed and cut into ribbons
Juice of 1½ lemon
3 tbsp. chopped cilantro, for garnish
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
200 g butternut squash, peeled and trimmed to bite-sized chunks
80 g. Greek yogurt (plain)
1 clove garlic, mashed
1 tsp. fresh mint, minced
Making the Dish:
- Soak the chickpeas overnight, in a big pan of water/baking soda solution.
- The next morning, drain the beans, rinse with fresh water, place in a deep pan and cover with copious water. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook until tender, but having a semi-firm ‘bite’. Drain the beans, rinse with cool water, set aside, covered.
- Preheat the oven to 400° F. Peel and chop the squash, toss with 2 tbsp. of the olive oil, sprinkle on some Kosher salt and pepper, and place on a roasting pan. Roast for 20 – 25 minutes (toss to turn the pieces after 15 minutes) or until the squash is browned on the outer edges and semi-soft. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool a bit.
- While the squash is roasting, make the dressing by mixing the yogurt, garlic, mint, and 3 tbsp. of the olive oil. Add Kosher salt and black pepper to taste. Place in the fridge to chill slightly.
- When the squash is almost perfect, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil in a large fry pan, adding the onion, caraway seed, cumin, and sugar. Fry the mixture until the onions begin to caramelize- about ten minutes.
- Add the Swiss chard to the hot onions and cook until the chard begins to wilt nicely tossing frequently.
- Add the drained chickpeas, and the squash bites, tossing to combine.
- Place the vegetables on a warm platter and drizzle the yogurt dressing over top.
- Serve hot with flat breads or a grilled meat of your choice.
Head on over the the I Heart Cooking Club to see what other greens- based recipes are making their way to the links! Ottolenghi is not short of creativity and the bloggers involved in this club always do justice to the recipes!