Silver Chard and Ricotta Cannelloni (with a hint of Garam Masala)
My next Chard for this summer, are seeds from The Real Seed Catalogue called ‘Fordhook Giant’, for which seedlings have been hardening off and with the weather warming up, ready to be planted out, over the next week or two.
So in order to save time, I simply dug up the whole plants and cut of the leaves, afterwards in a very leisurely manner, whilst sipping a cup of tea and watching the birds, mainly crows, pecking at the freshly dug soil.
As for the recipe I hear you ask “An classic Italian dish with an Indian spice!!” Yes, that is correct, but that is only spice I will be using instead of nutmeg.
My close relatives would tell you, I do not reach for, and use Garam Masala at all, in any my dishes. But when I do use it, then I make it a point that non of the other spices are added. I believe you should be able to taste all elements of a dish and when Garam Masala is used with all the other spices, then those ‘other’ spices get masked by this warming but dominant spice, making it pointless (in my opinion) even using those other spices.
Using Garam Masala in this dish, complements the thicker chard leaf. Compared to spinach which is slightly delicate, in structure and flavour; making nutmeg a perfect spice to complement spinach.
*I have steamed the chard first and squeezed out excess water.
*Also made tomato sauce base, using onion, a tin can of tomatoes, couple of cloves of crushed garlic, 1tbsp of tomato puree, torn fresh basil and oregano leaves and cooked for approx. 20 minutes or until liquid in the sauce has reduced and sauce has slightly thickened in consistency.
200g Chard (weight after it has been steamed and wilted)
400g Ricotta cheese
* Tomato sauce (see above notes)
15 (approx) Tubes of Cannelloni
1tsp Garam Masala
* Salt to taste
* Parmesan Reggiano
- Roughly Chop the cooled chard and add to a bowl.
- Add Cheese, 1 tsp of Garam Masala. Stir altogether and add salt to taste.
- At this stage you can either spoon the mixture into the tubes or ‘pipe’ the mixture into the tubes (I find piping easier, quicker and less messy).