First, let me just say that there was a nettle in my garden today.
We’ve had nettles in the woods, but never in my garden.
With all the rain we’ve had the past two weeks, the weeds along the fence have gotten rather high. I decided it was time to tidy up.
I’d made my way around the entire garden and was grabbing the last handful… It pricked.
I assumed it was just a thistle, I didn’t want to go back to the barn for my gloves, so I sucked it up and yanked. (Impatient, as always).
I tossed it in the bucket.
My hand was on fire.
I finally looked.
It was a nettle.
Six hours later my hand still hurts.
The two weeks of rain made everything in my garden explode. Suddenly I have zucchini and chard and tomatoes and beans that all need to be eaten, frozen or composted every day.
The problem was that on those cool, rainy nights traditional summer food didn’t appeal.
Think of this as ‘summer comfort food’.
And, just so you know…. There really isn’t 3 kilos of cheese on this. It’s the yellow tomatoes that make it look that way.
Rainbow Chard and Yellow Tomato Gratin
8oz (250gr) chard
2 yellow tomatoes (or any color)
2 tbs fresh, snipped basil
2 tbs fresh, snipped chives
2 tbs chicken stock
1 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) shredded cheese
Wash the chard and trim any bad bits. Stack the leaves together and fold over, the long way. Slice into thin strips, about 1/2″ (1cm) using both leaves and stems. Roughly chop tomato.
Spread the oil in the bottom of a baking dish. Layer the half the chard leaves, herbs, chard stems and tomatoes. Repeat. Drizzle wth chicken stock and sprinkle with Tabasco. Cover with foil and bake, 400F (200) for 20 minutes.
Remove foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake 10 minutes longer.
Did I mention that as payment for all my hard work organizing our family reunion I demanded asked everyone if they would mind terribly to bring me a bottle of Green Tabasco (and a bag of Jolly Ranchers)?
I can now use Green Tabasco with abandon – and have been. We can only get the red here, and it’s too hot for me. And the bottle or two I bring back on my annual trip doesn’t last very long…..
Life is good!