I am, frankly speaking, in a little bit of a rut. Over on Facebook, my friends are excitedly posting their Rosh Hashanah menus. Melissa Clark is writing about brisket in the NYTimes. Deb over at Smitten kitchen has a spectacular looking challah recipe up. And me, well I've got a Rosh Hashanah menu. It's hanging on my fridge. But it won't be going up on Facebook, and some of it has already been mentioned on this blog. My mom's stuffed fish. Braised chicken with figs. My great-aunt Rose's honey cake. I'm not making anything new. I'm not making anything elaborate. Just food.
Even in my non-holiday kitchen, I have been feeling less than inspired. Oh, I've got ideas and recipes planned and cookbooks bookmarked, but I just can't quite get there. Mostly I have been eating granola. Great granola. Granola that I promise will one day be a blog post. Maybe even next week. But that's really been the extent of my culinary adventures lately.
A few days ago, I decided it was time. Time to shake myself out of this funk. I pulled Plenty off the shelf. I gave a glance at my pantry. I made chickpea saute with Greek yogurt (except the yogurt wasn't Greek). It was good. And different.And Not at all Middle Eastern, as one would expect a chickpea saute to be.The next day I made curried corn fritters topped with mango and lime for dinner. Today, I am trying my hand at a new chicken recipe I've had my eye on for a while. So while I'm not entirely out of my rut, maybe, just maybe Ottolenghi's chickpea saute has given me a little push back toward culinary vibrancy. And thinking about it a little more, it wouldn't be a bad dish for the Rosh Hashanah table. It's not sweet, as many Rosh Hashanah foods are, but it does contain chard, which is one of the traditional "signs" eaten on the New Year.
Happy Rosh Hashanah to all those who celebrate. May all your ruts be shallow.
Chickpea Saute with Greek Yogurt
From Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
3/4 lb. Swiss chard
1/3 cup olive oil
4 medium carrots, diced
1 tsp. caraway seeds
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas (canned is fine)
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped mint
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 cup Greek (or plain) yogurt
1 tablespoon olive oil
1. Separate the chard leaves from the stalks. In a pot of salted, boiling water, blanch the stalks. After 6 minutes, add the leaves. Continue cooking for 2 minutes. Drain and refresh with cold water. Squeeze out excess liquid. Roughly chop.
2. I a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the carrots and caraway seeds. Saute for 5 minutes or so. Add the chard and chickpeas and continue to cook for another 6 minutes. Then add the garlic, herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Mix. Remove from heat and allow to cool down. Taste and adjust seasoning.
3. Mix the yogurt and olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Mound the vegetables onto a serving platter (or individual plates) spoon yogurt on top. Serve.