Chard with Hazelnut Sauce

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This is Tamura’s Oregon version of a classic Japanese dish of sesame spinach, known as goma-ae. She substitutes chard for the spinach, but you can use any hearty winter green. Roasting the hazelnuts just before using them will add a lot more flavor to the dish.

1 bunch chard
1/2 cup roasted hazelnuts
3 Tbsp miso, heaping
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp mirin
1 Tbsp + 1 tsp sake
1  tsp water
2  Tbsp brown sugar, packed and rounded

1. Boil a large pot of water. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Add one- third of the chard leaves to the boiling water, cook until tender (3 to 4 minutes), and then plunge them into the ice water. Repeat with remaining chard. Let cool in the ice bath for 15 minutes. Remove, wring out the excess water, and set aside.

2. Grind the hazelnuts into a paste in a food processor or a tsuribashi (Japanese mortar and pestle with ribbed walls). Add the miso, mirin, sake, water and brown sugar, and continue to grind until it forms a smooth paste.

3. Cut the chard into fine strips. Mix with the paste until fully covered and serve..

Makes 4 small servings
Recipe by Naoko Tamura, Chef Naoko’s Bento Café


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