An autumn lunch

As usual autumn suprised me again this year. One day I was happily walking around in my flimsy skirt, tanktop and sandals. The next  I was covered up in a turtle neck, jeans and a trench. It seems so sudden, so surreal and down right unfair after the lousy summer we’ve had. But mother nature, oblivious of my sulking and moaning, goes about her business of slowly painting the world in all hues of brown, aubergine, muted gold and yellow. And I, all be it reluctantly at first, finally give in and surrender to the beauty of this season. This early in October the leaves are still on the trees but they are  literally hanging on to a thread awaiting  the autumn winds that will come and ruthlessly blow them off the branches. There is a definite chill in the air. The morning is filled with a silence speaking of things yet to come to those of us willing to listen.

As you may have already gathered autumn is a melancholy kind of time for me.  I retreat indoors taking stock of what the first three quarters of this year has brought me and comtemplate on when it will be my time to harvest. I bid farewell to the delicious summer treats I have enjoyed and kiss those gorgeous luscious summer flowers that so abundantly brightened my home and heart goodbye. Goodbye strawberries, cherries and watermelon. Goodbye deliciously sweet sweet corn, crispy lettuce and juicy tomatoes. Goodbye barbie pink peonies, tea roses, iris and hydrangea. And at last goodbye lovely sunflowers. I shall miss you the most for with you go those long hot summer days with leisurely bike rides, spontaneous get to gethers with friends, ice cream parties and alas also the flimsy skirts, tanktops and sandals…… Sigh!

But every sad goodbye is thankfully followed by a warm hello. So hello trench coat. Thanks for keeping me warm again this year. Hello evenings spent wrapped in blankets reading foodblogs until I’m pixel eyed. And hello not so spontaneous dinner parties with friends around a table laden with autumn’s bounty. For although I will miss the sunny carefree type of summer cooking I’ve enjoyed these past months, autumn is at it’s core a foodies season supreme. With the farmers markets displaying  amazing produce such as bright orange pumpkins that have been soaking up the summer sunshine, deep purple figs begging to be put to bed under a duvet of short crust pastry and crimson and lemon stalked giant chard leaves just screaming to be taken home and sautéed it would be a shame to sit around sulking instead of hitting the stove. Note to self: stop sulking and hit the stove already!! And indeed I did.

Sautéed red and yellow chard with fried eggs on sourdough toast

Enough for two people or 1 very hungry me.

  • 250 grams chard leaves and stalks (wash thoroughly) roughly chopped up
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 garlic clove roughly chopped up
  • a small piece of fresh ginger cut in very thin strips
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • a drizzle of good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
  • himalaya salt and black pepper
  • 2 very fresh eggs
  • 2 slices of sourdough bread (day old is fine)
  • 1 tablespoon ghee

Heat the coconut oil in a non stick frying pan. When hot drop in the mustard seeds and wait until they just start to pop. Immediately add the garlic, ginger, onion and chopped up chard stalks. Wait until the onion has a nice golden colour and the stalks are tender before adding the chard leaves. Give it a quick stir and when the leaves are just starting to wilt add the vinegar, orange zest, salt and pepper and give another stir. Quickly push the vegetable mixture to one side of the pan. If necessary add a drop more of coconut oil on the other side of the pan. Make sure the pan is really hot before frying the two eggs sunny sides up making sure to keep the yolks a bit runny.

Meanwhile heat a grill pan on your stove until medium hot. Spread some ghee on both sides of the bread slices. Grill the slices turning them a couple of times until you have nice grill marks on them. Set aside on a serving plate.

Spoon some of the stir fried leaves on top of each slice of toast and gently top with an egg. Season with some more salt and pepper.

Variations for the 3 doshas

Vata: Fry the chard in ghee or sesame oil instead of coconut oil. Add some sesame seeds if you want.

Pitta: Leave out the mustard seeds and garlic and use half an onion. Instead of the egg you can also mix in some cooked garbanzo, cannelini or white beans with the chard.

Kapha: Add cooked garbanzo, cannelini or white beans instead of the egg. Use 1 teaspoon of ghee to fry your veggies and don’t put ghee on your toast.  You can also leave the toast out all together and eat your greens over a bowl of cooked quinoa instead.

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