In my village a new, furtive fruit and vegetable seller recently appeared. A few times during the week, you need to wander through the cobbled streets and, if you’re lucky, you’ll find her and her battered old car full of fruits and vegetables from her garden. She sells them straight out of the car, along with freshly baked bread-rolls and empanadas filled with vegetables that she’s harvested that morning. It’s probably illegal, but it’s fantastic, so nobody’s going to expose her! This week, she had some rainbow chard sticking out of one of her boxes, and I grabbed it immediately. I haven’t seen rainbow chard since I left California all those years ago! As I walked back through the village to my car, quite a few people stopped me to admire the colours of the chard: I think only in France would strangers stop you to comment on vegetables you are carrying! One man even suggested that I should put it in a vase instead of eating it because it was so pretty. Around Christmas time, I was carrying a platter of cheese from our fabulous cheese shop in the village and thought I was going to get mobbed and my platter wrested from my grasp before I could get back to the car. In the space of 100 meters, about 10 different people stopped me to ask me about the cheeses on the board and what they tasted like.
When I got it home, I didn’t end up putting it in a vase, but instead immediately chopped it up for lunch. I decided to add some raisins to give it a little sweetness, and some pine nuts, just because the were sitting on the bench and I like them. I sprinkled sumac over the top because everything tastes better with a bit of sumac in it, but if you don’t have any, either don’t use anything or maybe add some paprika. Now, if you don’t have rainbow chard, that’s OK too. You could make the same dish with normal chard (which is apparently the same as silverbeet) or spinach if you want it to have a milder flavour. The coloured stems just make the dish look much prettier!
Travel Photo Of The Week
I was down in Cannes (you know the film festival place) the other day and just wanted to show you that it’s not always sunny and bright on the Cote d’Azur. I actually like it more at this time of the year when the sky and the sea nearly blend into each other. The beaches are empty of people and umbrellas. The only sounds are the waves lapping on the shore, the seagulls mewing, and the odd Ferrari or Lamborghini gunning its engines as it roars past. Well, some things don’t change in Cannes, no matter what the season!
By Lisa Watson
- 1 large bunch Rainbow Chard
- 4 Tbsp Olive oil
- 40 g 1/4 cup Raisins
- 15 g 1 1/2 Tbsp Pine nuts
- to taste Salt and pepper
- 1/2 – 1 tsp Sumac
- 50 ml 1/4 cup Water
- From 1/2 a lemon Lemon juice
- Chop the stems of the chard into slices. Slice the green leaves of the chard. Put the raisins in the water to soak.
- Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. When it is hot, add the chard stems and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Add the leaves and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the pine nuts and cook for another two minutes.
- Add the raisins in their water and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Take off the heat and add the lemon juice and stir in.
- Sprinkle with sumac and serve immediately.