Sunday, August 23, 2009

Over-the-Rainbow Chard Pie and Sunset Dinner at Restoration Farm

Somewhere, over the rainbow, my CSA share would never end and I’d have a bounty of vegetables twelve months of the year. Ah, well, I can dream of “vegetable heaven.” In the meantime, I can bask in the bodacious and fanciful Swiss chard that proliferates at Restoration Farm.

The large curly foliage resembles colossal green fans, and the stems are multi-colored. I once found these imposing greens intimidating, but I’m working them into stir fries and frittatas. This recipe for Over-the-Rainbow Chard Pie is similar to a quiche, uses one giant bunch of chard and emerges from the oven with a vibrant, lacy patina.

Over-the-Rainbow Chard Pie

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion chopped
1 clove garlic minced
1 bunch Rainbow Swiss chard, cleaned, with leaves and stems coarsely chopped
½ tsp dried thyme
Generous pinch red pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
8 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 9- inch prepared pie crust

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in pan and sauté onion and garlic until soft. Add Swiss chard and sauté until wilted. Add thyme, red pepper flakes and salt, stir and remove from heat. Beat eggs until foamy. Add vegetable mixture to prepared pie crust. Sprinkle with cheese and place on sheet pan. Pour beaten eggs over vegetables and cheese. Bake at 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes. Let cool and serve at room temperature.

I take the Chard Pie to the annual pot-luck dinner in the field at Restoration Farm where I am joined by my parents. We amble down the rutted dirt road to the farm with food treasures in hand.

Just beyond Pond Field where berries are ripening, rows of rustic wood tables and benches have been set up in a field. A red tailed hawk swoops over the historic barn where garlic is curing.

Tables are set with brilliant flowers clipped from the cutting garden.

Members of Restoration Farm begin to stream onto the field carrying picnic hampers, covered dishes and homemade bread wrapped in kitchen towels. Soon the field is teeming with people chatting and getting acquainted. Children play catch, and the sounds of barnyard animals mingle with the twang of fiddle music.

The buffet table groans with delicious offerings. We join the Kalamidas family at a table and feast on Zucchini Pie, Southwestern Salad, Chard Pie, whole grain salad, carrot slaw, luscious cheesecake studded with fresh fruit, and so much more.

It feels like stepping back to a simpler time. It is a perfect summer evening, and there is a tangible feeling of community and a sense of oneness as we share in the edible and emotional delights of Restoration Farm.

©2009 T.W. Barritt All Rights Reserved


Julia said...

Sounds (and looks) like a magical evening! I love these types of community dinners.

And your chard pie looks great! May I add it to the "Restoration Farm" cookbook?

Kalyn Denny said...

That looks like such a fun party! Love the sound of a chard pie! I made something similar last summer without the crust and loved it. My chard overwintered and I should have pulled it out (I was hopeful it would be good for a second crop, but it was woody and awful.) I pulled it out and now I'm starting again with new baby chard plants. Hopefully I'll at least have some chard in time for soups!

Christo Gonzales said...

wow and wow again - I felt like I was there and then I was envious because I really wasnt!

Anonymous said...

If this isn't the picture-perfect CSA, I don't know what is! It's also a brilliant way for the farmers to get their CSA members more invested in Restoration Farm's sustainability. The chard pie looks beautiful, too.

Foodiewife said...

It's so nice to see a bounty of fresh food and not processed take out meals from a grocery store.
Your chard pie looks wonderful. I'm so glad that I learned to work with this, myself. LOVE it as much (if not more) than spinach.

Kathy said...

Sounds like a wonderful time and looks like so much fun! Your Chard Pie looks delicious. I had never tried chard before the CSA. I have only stir fried it in a bit of olive oil and garlic. And I agree with Lydia--a great way to bring the CSA members together.

veron said...

So fun! And that chard pie looks fantastic!

Lori Lynn said...

The name of your pie is terrific.

You paint such a lovely picture. Life is good.

Giff said...

always looking for good ways to use chard, one of my favorite veggies :). Unfortunately the chard has not had a happy year at my favorite catskills farm

~~louise~~ said...

Beautifully illustrated, T.W.

The essence of Old Bethpage captured in the rainbow of the bounty...Simply Refreshing...

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I'm head-over-heels for your over-the-rainbow chard pie, T.W.! I had a good friend in NC who used to make a similar pie with zucchini and spinach. So this brings back wonderful memories for me too.

Stacey Snacks said...

you know I am the tart (& crostini) queen! I love quiches and tarts of any kind and this looks amazing....but that's not purchased pie crust, that looks very homemade to me!

Talita said...

How beautiful those pics! The pie looks delicious!

pigpigscorner said...

Sounds like fun and the pie looks really good!