Swiss Chard with Pomegranate + Orange Yogurt

Swiss Chard with Orange Yogurt |
Swiss Chard |
Pomegranate |
Orange Zest |
Orange Honey Yogurt |

My oh my, 2014, you've outdone yourself! My heart grew three sizes this year. In approximate order of wonderfulness, highlights include:

  • Married the love of my life beneath raindrops in the place where we met and grew up
  • Welcomed a perfect child, my niece Tucker, into the world + fulfilled lifelong dream of becoming an Auntie Em
  • Stood beside three dear friends as they tied the knot
  • Serial binged
  • Started this here blog

2015 is feeling mighty intimidated right about now.

Swiss Chard with Pomegranate and Orange Honey Yogurt |

Despite my best attempts to assign some symbolic value to this swiss chard, there's really nothing about it that's representative of my year. Given the list above though, it would be a fool's errand if I tried. It is scientifically impossible to make a dish as delicious as my year has been. Instead I'll say this recipe is a nod to 2011, the year Yotam Ottolenghi's book Plenty came out and I learned how to bedazzle vegetables with pomegranate and yogurt.

Sauteed Swiss Chard with Pomegranate + Orange Yogurt

Serves 2-4 as a side dish


  • 1 bunch swiss chard
  • 2 Tbs. butter, divided
  • 1/3 cup white wine (water or stock may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
  • 1/3 cup full fat, thick Greek yogurt (if you live in the Boston area I implore you to track down yogurt from Sophia's)
  • 1 Tbs. grated orange zest
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • S+P


  • Remove stems from chard
  • Chop chard stems into 1-2 inch pieces, set aside
  • Chop chard leaves into thin ribbons
  • Combine yogurt, orange zest, and honey; set aside
  • Heat 1 Tbs. butter in large saute pan over medium heat; add chard stems
  • Season with S+P; saute chard stems for ~3 minutes; add white wine
  • Continue to cook for 3-5 more minutes until wine has evaporated and stems are tender
  • Add remaining tablespoon of butter and chard leaves
  • Saute for 3-5 minutes until leaves are wilted and tender
  • Transfer chard to serving dish and top with pomegranate and healthy dollop of yogurt (Leftover pomegranate and yogurt? Breakfast is served.)


Kale, Celery, + Fennel Salad

Kale, Fennel, + Celery Salad |

Today was a win. Today I finished the very last of our wedding thank you notes. I remember reading that Emily Post's permissible window for sending thank-yous is within 3 months of the occasion. Whether Emily Post is still in charge of these things, I do not know. But since I've beat the deadline (by a full 3 weeks!) I am going to go ahead and say, yes, she is still is the beacon on all things etiquette and, yes, that is from whom I'm taking my cues. I wish Emily were here right now so I could ask if that is the correct use of 'whom'.

With the great thank-you-note project wrapped and the scent of productivity still lingering in the air I decided to keep it rolling and make this salad. I heart this salad. I was reminded today that even though I always get the slightest bit annoyed midstream by the number of steps*, the end result is totally worth it. It's hearty, perfect for winter, and can hold its own the day after. Boom. 

*Go ahead and chuckle. There aren't really that many steps at all, I know. 

Lacinto Kale |

I used lacinto kale (which I still don't know how to pronounce, anyone?) but any variety would do. 

Chopped Kale |
Fennel Bulb |

Imagine a plus sign hovering above this fennel bulb. Those are the planes you want to cut along, once lengthwise, once crosswise. You'll end up with 4 quarters, each with the root end still intact which makes for easy, breezy slicing.

Shaved Fennel |
Shaved Celery |

Celery: apparently good for more than mirepoix and bloody marys.

Chopped Hazelnuts |

Don't you just love that hazelnuts are also called filberts?

Grated Pecorino Romano |

This is Pecorino Romano. Parmesan works just great too.

Kale, Celery, + Fennel Salad |

Kale, Celery, + Fennel Salad

Serves 4
  • 1 bunch kale, tough stems removed, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 bulb fennel, shaved on mandolin (1/16 inch is the setting I use)
  • 2 stalks celery, shaved on mandolin (also 1/16)
  • 2/3 cup toasted hazelnuts, roughly chopped (I have substituted almonds, walnuts, and even pepitas. Whatever you fancy!)
  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon


De-stem and shop the kale. Shave the fennel and celery. Toast the nuts in a dry skillet over medium heat until lightly browned and aromatic, about 3-4 minutes. Roughly chop nuts. Grate the cheese. Toss all ingredients together until well coated. Finish and salt and pepper. If I'm in the mood for heat (which is pretty much always) I like to serve with big pinches of red pepper flakes.

You can serve immediately but I think this salad is at its best when its dressed and left to sit for about 30 minutes, allowing the rough kale to mellow just slightly.




Rosemary Cornbread + Salted Maple Butter

Rosemary Cornbread with Salted Maple Butter |

It's been a while since I could cozy up to cornbread. There were long stretches of my life where it was the only sustenance available. No, my parents weren't survivalists or aggressive campers. Nope, the cornbread diet carried me through my shifts at the last waitressing job of my career. As any server will confirm, it's the bread and only the bread we have guaranteed access to. Everything else that you yearn to nibble on during a 10 hour shift remains guarded by a wanton kitchen staff. You're at their mercy and they love it. They know they can torment you with the promise of a few fries, and so they do. If you're too weary to engage in the antics then it's all bread basket, all the time. It's the one portion of food service that the waitstaff have full jurisdiction over. This is how cornbread and I became so well acquainted. No doubt, the cornbread at this restaurant was on point. But as a meal replacement for days on on end, let's just say a bitter resentment took root.

Fast forward a couple years to September 2013. I had left the restaurant biz for a big girl desk job. My family is organizing to throw my (then) fiance and I a southern-inspired engagement party. My brother suggests skillet cornbread. At first I wince, but then figure this is as good a time as any to rekindle an old flame. And viola, the book is re-written. Now cornbread brings me back to one of our happiest celebrations in recent memory. The drudgery of those long shifts? Just crumbs by comparison.

This recipe is adapted from Alice Waters cornbread in The Art of Simple Food. Here it's been winter-fied with rosemary and maple, though I'm sure it would be equally welcome at your breakfast/dinner/midnight snack table in warmer months. By design, this cornbread is not on the sweet side. That's where the maple butter comes in. On its own though this cornbread would be a great wing man for stew or chili.

Start by making your butter. In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment beat heavy cream on high until buttermilk (liquid) separates from the milk solids (the butter). You will get heavy cream first, keep going. Total beating time should be between 5-7 minutes. 

Homemade Butter from Cream |

Once separated, place mixture in a colander lined with a cheesecloth or paper towel to drain. Press down with additional paper towels to release as much of the liquid as possible.

Homemade Butter |

In total about one cup of buttermilk should be released. Save this for pancakes or salad dressing.

Return butter solids to standing mixer this time with a paddle attachment. Add maple syrup and salt and whip on high until well incorporated. 

Homemade Maple Butter |

Whip baby, whip. And pretty soon you're in business, the homemade butter business.

Homemade Salted Maple Butter |

Next up, the main event. Pre-heat oven to 425. Put a cast iron skillet (I used 8 inch, 9 or 10 would work as well as would a similarly sized baking dish) with a pat of butter in it. You want your skillet nice and toasty when the batter goes in.

Mix dry ingredients together with a whisk in a mixing bowl.

Rosemary Cornbread Prep |

Sour your milk. Squeeze juice of half a lemon into the milk. Let sit for 5-10 minutes. Don't worry, it's supposed to curdle.

Buttermilk Substitute |

Chop your rosemary while you wait on the milk. 

Chopped Rosemary |

Melt your butter.

Melted Butter |

Fold the milk, egg, and rosemary into the dry ingredients until combined and smooth. Add the melted butter and stir until incorporated. Pour batter into hot skillet.

Rosemary Skillet Cornbread |

Bake 25 minutes (if using 8-inch pan) or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. If using a wider pan you'll need to reduce baking time. Check for doneness at 20 minutes.

Rosemary Cornbread with Salted Maple Butter |

Find a friend to share and dig in.


Rosemary Cornbread with Salted Maple Butter

Serves 6-8

Salted Maple Butter

  • 1 pint heavy cream

  • 2 Tbs. maple syrup (grade B is best)

  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt (Maldon is superb)

Rosemary Cornbread

  • 3/4 cup cornmeal (yellow or blue)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbs. sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbs. finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • Soured milk (1 1/4 cup whole milk + juice of one half lemon)
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 4 Tbs. butter, melted
  • 1 pat butter (for skillet)

To make the butter: In a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment beat heavy cream until the liquids and solids separate (5-7 minutes on high). Drain mixture in a colander lined with a cheesecloth or paper towel squeezing out excess liquid with more paper towels. Return butter solids to standing mixer this time fitted with a paddle attachment. Add maple and salt and whip on high until incorporated.

To make cornbread: Preheat oven to 425. Place one pat butter on skillet and place in oven to warm. Whisk cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in mixing bowl until combined. Add egg, soured milk, and rosemary. Stir to incorporate. Add melted butter, stir until combined. Pour batter into warmed skillet and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Serve with salted maple butter.