Chard, new potatoes, olives and capers; pesto-pearled couscous, and…croquettes!

Potatoes, chard, olives and capers

Potatoes, chard, olives and capers

Sir Lord Comic. I love everything I’ve heard by him, but that’s only five or six songs. I don’t know much about him, but here it is…he’s one of the first Jamaican deejays. In fact, his song Ska-ing West is considered the first deejay recording. He began his career as a dancer with the Admiral Dean Sound System. He’s got a wonderful rich, soave voice. He’s got a remarkable vocabulary. He’s funny and bright and talks so fast sometimes that I can’t understand what he’s saying. He’s got some combination of coolness and joyful warmth that makes his few songs completely contagious. On Dr. Feelgood he uses the phrase “musically glad,” which is an idea I love, and is exactly how you feel when you listen to Sir Lord Comic. A gold star to anyone who can tell me what he says right before he says “musically glad!” Here he is dancing…

chard, potato, couscous croquettes

chard, potato, couscous croquettes

I love potatoes and greens, and I love greens and olives, so this was a nice combination of both. It’s also got capers (or flavor dynamites) and fresh herbs and tomatoes from the farm. We ate it with whole wheat pearled couscous mixed with pesto and chickpeas. And, of course, the next night I made croquettes out of the leftovers. All good! All easy!

Here’s a list of all the Sir Lord Comic songs I’ve ever heard. If anybody knows of any more, or is better informed about his life and career, I’d be grateful to hear about it.

THE CHARD & POTATOES

6 or 7 small new potatoes, scrubbed or peeled
1 bunch chard, washed, trimmed and roughly chopped
2 T olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 t red pepper flakes, or to taste
fresh herbs: rosemary, thyme, sage,
1/2 cup olives, pitted and chopped
2 or 3 tomatoes, chopped
2 t capers
1 T butter
juice of one lemon
small handful fresh basil
salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil and drop the potatoes in. When they start to feel soft but not falling apart, after five or ten minutes, drop the chard in. Cook for about five more minutes, till the chard is wilted but bright, and the potatoes are completely soft. Drain.

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and herbs and cook until the garlic just starts to brown. Add the potatoes and chard, and stir to coat and cook to warm through. Add the capers, olives and tomatoes. Cook until the tomatoes just start to soften, a few minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and butter, top with basil and season with salt and pepper.

THE COUSCOUS

1 T olive oil
1 T sage, rosemary and chives, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup whole wheat pearled couscous
salt and pepper
1 T butter
1 t balsamic
1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup pesto sauce

Warm the olive oil in a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat. Add the herbs and garlic, and when they start to sizzle, add couscous. Stir so that it gets coated with oil and herbs. Cook for a few minutes, stirring from time-to-time, until it smells toasty. Add 1 1/4 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover, and simmer for about 20 minutes, till the couscous is tender and the water is mostly absorbed. You can take the lid off for the last few minutes of cooking if you have a lot of water left. Add butter and balsamic, and stir in the pesto and chickpeas, fluff with a fork, and season with salt and pepper.

CROQUETTES

about 2 cups leftover potatoes and chard
about 1 1/2 cups leftover pearled couscous and pesto
1 egg
1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar or smoked gouda
1 slice whole wheat bread

COmbine everything in a food processor and process briefly to combine. You don’t want it completely smooth.

Preheat the oven to 425 and put a thin layer of olive oil on a baking sheet. Bake until crispy and golden on both sides, turning from time to time. 20 – 25 minutes should do it.

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