Time to experiment with chard again, and again seeking inspiration from Mr Ottolenghi. This is a rather bastardised version of his Split Wheat & Swiss Chard with Pomegranate Molasses from his new book Jerusalem (yeah it came and yes I’ll probably bang on about it for the foreseeable future!!). Bastardised 1: to make it for two, 2: switched ingredients for what I had.
Admittedly when I started cooking this I wasn’t convinced it was really going to be a success, at first stirring in the pomegranate molasses with it’s sickly sweet smell and stickiness I just didn’t know how it was going to work but it really did! It had a big sweet and sour taste that was grounded by the earthy chard. All in all a really nice simple meal that warms and fills, yes it’s not photogenic or full of massively inspiring ingredients but it was really enjoyable and I recommend it for an easy weekday light meal.
Chard, grains and pomegranate molasses
300g chard (chopped, stalk 1cm, leaves 2cm) Ideally you would have 300g chard but I didn’t so used 200g and added frozen spinach to the mix.
1 tbsp olive oil
knob unsalted butter
1 leek, sliced
1 tbsp light brown sugar
1.5 tbsp pomegranate molasses
100g grains (in the ottolenghi recipe they used split wheat but I used a mix of rice spelt and barley)
250ml veg or chicken stock
salt and black pepper
– Melt the butter and the olive oil in a heavy bottomed frying pan that has a lid.
– Add the leeks and fry for 3mins.
– Then add the chard stalks and cook for 2 mins before adding the leaves. Once they had wilted I added my spinach (defrosted). Cook all of this for around 5 mins.
– Add the grain, sugar, molasses and mix well.
– Pour over the stock, add 1/2 tspn of salt and some black pepper.
– Cover and leave to simmer for up to 1 hour (this depends on what grain you are using) or until the excess water is gone and the bottom of the pan is starting to caramelise- this took about 30mins for me. Serve!