Subscribe


This is the second year that we've planted Chinese eggplants in our garden with resounding success. Undoubtedly, these are one of the easiest, no fuss, take-care-of-themselves plants we have, and the yield is incredible. Come mid to late summer, we have more eggplants than we know what to do with, and we're always getting creative to figure out to how eat all of these pretty purple veggies. In all honesty, I'm not a huge fan of eggplants, but the first time Greg and I made this eggplant garden stir fry I knew this was going to be our favorite way to go through our late summer harvests! Thus, it was the perfect recipe to partner with Suite One Studio for our monthly Garden to Table series. We've served this dish for a crowd a couple of times and the Suite One Studio serving bowls make this meal look so incredibly good at a party! Get the recipe on the Suite One Studio blog this month and snag yourself one of Lindsay Emery's gorgeous serving bowls (also here) for your next garden potluck! Get the Recipe ---> 

Admittedly, figs are perhaps in my top three favorite fruits of all time. Here in Virginia, August brings a wave of fresh figs, and the fig trees are heavily laden with these juicy and sweet ripe fruits. My family's home in Virginia Beach has about a dozen huge fig trees, and if we're visiting at just the right time, we can snag some baskets and climb up into the shady limbs, dropping one after another into the baskets while snacking on just as many in the process. The harvesting time kind of sneaks up on us...one day they're still a little green and the very next morning the squirrels have literally taken a single bite out of every slightly ripened fig on the tree. We keep a whether eye out, and pick at just the right moment - usually multiple times a week and even sometimes twice a day. As I mentioned in my previous posts, everything feels like it ripens at once in the summer months, so we often have a LOT of these little fruits on hand...not that we're complaining. Figs are absolute heaven on a hot summer day! And - nothing seems to pair more beautifully on a summer table than beautiful, ripe purple figs with Lindsay Emery's signature pink porcelain bowls and dessert plates! 

Get the recipe for my Fig & Ricotta Flatbread with fresh garden herbs on the Suite One Studio Blog --> 

Chard is my favorite green leafy veggie, and in our summer garden we devote an entire raised bed to this nutritious botanical rainbow. In past years, we've tried growing collards and kale and spinach (all of which we love), but faced an unrelenting constant battle with the white flies that always seemed to overtake every last green leafy patch and we finally just gave up and said, "No. More." But....Rainbow Chard always did remarkably well with practically no effort whatsoever, hence it not only became one of our favorite things to grow, but our favorite summer garden item to eat all the time. We add chard to absolutely everything in the summer time, from morning omelets and lunchtime salads to simple dinner additions (sautéed with lots of garlic and onions) and within the past two years, we've been making large batches of this Rainbow Chard Spanakopita when we have an abundance of chard in mid summer. One batch of this lasts us for almost a week, and it never gets old. 

I know that health fads come and go, and every year there's always a new "super veggie" that levitates onto the natural health pedestal as being so much better than all the others and, "What are you waiting for?? Add this to ALL your smoothies!" headlines blanket social media. That's fine...I see it. I read about it. But my love and devotion of chard will never waver. I wade through my summer chard patch and whisper..."It's been you all along. You'll always be my veggie ally...don't let those headlines get you down"... Chard doesn't need fleeting headlines. It knows it's the best and doesn't need the constant praise to prove it. 

I developed a fondness for rainbow chard (and Swiss chard) in college. It was always cheaper than any of the other greens so that's what found it's way into my kitchen most of the time. I cooked with it constantly and I love the way it tastes. Slightly earthy with a subtle sweetness and a bit of a bitter undertone. Fast forward to graduate school and I'm still eating the heck out of this while learning that, nutritionally, chard really is the unsung and often overlooked nutrient dense green that nobody's eating. It's full of magnesium, potassium, calcium,  iron, zinc, fiber and phytonutrients, along with vitamin C and A and lots of vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential for calcium absorption (something I really need), and I'm often always looking for extra sources of vitamin K in my diet to support bone health. The colorful stems (white, yellow and red) all contain nutrients as well, most notably carotenoids which are fantastic for eye health, and when I cook this up I'm always using the stems in every recipe too. 









Rainbow Chard Spanakopita is easy and forgiving. It takes the outline of a traditional spinach based Spanakopita but incorporates chard in place of the spinach. You can use either Filo or puff pastry, and traditionally a Spanakopita recipe calls for lots of butter (which is fine to use in this recipe as well - still works), however I prefer ghee so that's what I often use. Good quality cheese can make all the difference for a good batch too, so if you've got a good source for high quality feta - definitely opt for that. 

Rainbow Chard Spanakopita

3 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, coarsely chopped
8 cloves garlic, minced
2.5 pounds fresh Chard + stems, coarsely chopped
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh dill
3 eggs
2 cups high quality sheep feta, cubed
1tsp sea salt
ghee for brushing
Frozen Filo, thawed and slightly chilled
Serves 8

In a very large skillet or deep pot, heat the olive oil on medium heat and add the onion and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes until onions just start to turn translucent. Add in the chard, one handful at a time and cook down slightly before adding in another handful. With each addition, fold over the leaves to mix with the garlic and onions. Continue adding in all of the chard until wilted and well mixed with the garlic and onions. Remove from heat and transfer to a colander. Press out as much moisture as possible with a large spoon. Let cool completely or leave overnight in the refrigerator. 

Preheat oven to 350F and grease a 9x13in dish. Once the mixture has completely cooled, mix in the eggs, dill, feta and salt until well combined. Melt the ghee slightly. Roll out the filo dough. Add 1 sheet to the bottom of the baking dish and brush lightly with ghee. Add another sheet and brush again with ghee. Repeat the process about 6 times. Add the chard mixture and distribute evenly. Continue adding the filo sheets, brushing lightly with ghee until you have about 9-10 sheets on the top. Brush the top layer with ghee. Place in oven and bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top layer of filo browns slightly. Remove from oven and let cool. Serve warm. Keeps well refrigerated for up to 1 week. 

Optional: top with sprigs of dill and basil to serve. 

 

Photos by Renee Byrd

HELLO, I’M LINDSAY.
Herbal medicine and nutrition is my expertise. Understanding plants, their properties, and their powers is my passion.

Subscribe

Subscribe for exclusive discounts & newsletters

The Book Bindery Building
2201 West Broad Street. Suite 107
Richmond, VA 23220
(804) 977-2634

LINDSAY(at)GINGERTONICBOTANICALS.COM
 2014-2017© GINGER TONIC BOTANICALS  |  ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
WEBSITE DESIGN BY INDIE SHOPOGRAPHY