I am ever so happy to be celebrating Canada Day for the first time as a citizen!
But no, I won’t be passing out red-and-white cake or posting the recipe. (What is it with the red cake movement?)
What would be a Canadian thing to do on Canada Day? Do people really have barbecues here on the 1st, or is that just a grocery store flyer thing? Should we go shopping at Roots? Strap ourselves into one of thousands of boxes that alternate between hurtling along at a terrifying speed and just barely crawling at a stranded pace, in the cyclical pilgrimage to cottage country? Stay behind in the half-deserted town and get spoiled by all the extra elbow room?
Simply enjoy a late breakfast, a long lunch, and/or dinner out, and know this year, that there’s still a whole weekend ahead? Well that sounds like going whole hog to me. (in a Canadian/Zen kind of way)
I’m contemplating for one of our meals, this long weekend, some spinach pie. Well, Swiss Chard Mina, to be more exact; it is made with matzah, which is eaten during Passover. Dietary restrictions compel some of us to get creative with the unleavened bread, and this is one of the better results, in my opinion. It’s like an Italian Strata but with a much more interesting texture. And unlike its Greek counterpart, it uses only a little oil or butter. True, it’s heavy on the eggs and cheese, but you could always go low-fat and yolk-free. Swiss chard is my personal preference, (one bunch goes so much further), but of course you could use spinach. The matzah you can get at a grocery store that has a kosher section; so if you have access, don’t wait until Passover to try this. And enjoy the Bread of Freedom in what for many is indeed a Promised Land.
Happy Canada Day!
Recipe: Swiss Chard Mina
4 eggs, beaten
1 and 2/3 c. milk
500ml cottage cheese, or ricotta
some kind of hot sauce, your choice
1 onion or 2 shallots, chopped
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 bunch swiss chard, washed and chopped
½ cup minced herbs, e.g., parsley, dill, chives
6 oz. dry feta and/or old cheddar, grated
6 matzahs, whole wheat
Liquify in a blender the eggs, milk, cottage cheese, and your chosen hot sauce.
Pour this over matzahs in a dish large enough to hold them and let them soak for 15 minutes or more. From time to time, turn them, distributing the liquid so that they all get a shot at saturation.
Turn on oven to 375 degrees.
In a large skillet heat oil on med. heat. When hot, add onion and sauté for 5 minutes; then add chard. Cover and lower heat a bit and cook about 7 minutes. Stir in herbs. Let cool to room temperature.
Pour egg mixture off of matzahs into a bowl. Add about ½ of this to vegetables.
Oil a 9 x 13 in. casserole dish. Place two matzahs in bottom. Spread vegetable mixture on top. Sprinkle 1/3 of the grated cheese over that. Repeat with another round of matzahs, veg. and cheese. Top with remaining two matzahs; pour reserved egg mixture over all. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
Bake for 45 min. Let sit for 10 min. before serving.
Have with a tomato salad and fresh corn. Good for brunch, lunch, or supper.