The Spice Rack Challenge this month is dill. Dill. Should be easy, right? Except I don’t like dill. In fact, it is perhaps my least favoring herb/spice/seasoning. I’m not entirely sure why – maybe because it reminds me too much of (dill) pickles, and I don’t like pickles. I guess that really makes this a challenge!
I was flipping through my collection of vegetable-leaning cookbooks this weekend, looking for something to use up some of the greens I’ve been getting from my Capella Farm spring CSA. In particular, the kale and chard have been feeling neglected and unloved in my fridge. In From Asparagus to Zucchini, I noticed a recipe called Micah’s Yummy Chard Pie that includes dill! Ha, proverbial two birds with one stone. So tonight, I made it.
The recipe is for two pies. I just made one – it’s easy enough to half the ingredients. I also made mine in an 8×8 baking dish, because I was using a sheet of puff pastry from my freezer (in the interest of saving time).
Micah’s Yummy Chard Pie
8 servings per pie
page 57 in From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce
2 Tab olive oil or canola
1.5 cups chopped onions
1 Tab minced garlic or several chopped garlic scapes
1 very large bunch or 2 med bunches Swiss chard, stems removed and leaves chopped
6-8 eggs (I used 3 in my 1 pie)
2 cups milk or half-and-half (I used milk)
1 tsp salt
2 8-inch deep-dish pie shells
2 cups grated cheddar or Swiss cheese (I used manchego and cheddar)
chopped ham, cooked bacon, diced tomatoes, chopped basil, blanched peas, or green beans (optional)
1-2 Tab chopped fresh dill
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium flame. Cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until tender. Add the garlic in the last few minutes of cooking (to avoid burning it). Add chopped greens and cook, stirring often, until they wilt. Turn off heat
Beat eggs, milk, and salt in a bowl. Spread chard mixture in bottom of pie shells. Add cheese. Pour egg mixture over top. Add one or more of the optional ingredients, if desired. (Sorry, Micah, I didn’t use any!) sprinkle with dill (this I did – and I used quite a bit, in the spirit of the challenge.)
Bake at 400 degrees F until the pies are no longer jiggly in the center, 30-40 minutes.
I’m not that big on eggy tasting dishes, so I often avoid recipes that have lots of eggs, but not this time. I’m glad I tried it – it really was yummy, and it wasn’t even very eggy. The only problem is that my audience all disappeared (to a $1/ticket college baseball game) when I put it in the oven, so I ate alone. I guess I know what we’ll be having for dinner tomorrow!
About the dill: we’ve been getting herbs in our weekly share, but not dill. I stopped at a local grocery store on my way home, but they were out of dill in the fresh herbs section. Then I noticed they were selling live herb plants – including dill. Given my dislike of it, I was really tempted to just pinch some off the plants and sneak it out in my pockets. I’d be helping prune the plants, right? A service? But no, that would be stealing. So I bought one. (Now what am I going to do with a dill plant? I suppose I could try some of the other dishes arising from this challenge!)
And you know what? I couldn’t even taste it! It was overwhelmed by the onions or chard. I’m thinking that’s kind of cheating, for the purposes of the Spice Rack Challenge. I should make something else – maybe one of the recipes where I usually leave out dill… such as feta-stuffed cucumber boats, or spanakorizo. I’ve already made one batch of spanakorizo using my share, I suppose I could make another with this week’s spinach and some more pinches from the plant. I’ve never added the dill, so perhaps I should!
Two notes: as I was typing this up, I noticed another recipe for chard pie at the top of the page. The main differences? No suggestion for optional add-ons, and no dill! And then when I was turning to the cucumber section to see if this book is the source of a dish I remember leaving dill out of, I saw they have a dill section! Granted, it’s only 4 recipes on one page, but there you go.