KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL COOKBOOK CLUB – Dorothy Grover-Read reviews Whole Wheat Pasta with Walnut Sauce and Swiss Chard

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Hi there,

It is my pleasure to share with you today Dorothy Grover-Read’s review of Milk Street Tuesday Nights Mediterranean. Dorothy is one of the most generous food bloggers I have met. She is open-handed with her recipes and her cooking advice. A lot of Dorothy’s recipes are plant-based because she has a genuine interest in cooking healthy and tasty foods. Dorothy’s blog can be found at The New Vintage Kitchen, https://vintagekitchen.org/about/.

Cookbook Confidential: Whole Wheat Pasta with Walnut Sauce and Swiss Chard

Dorothy Grover-Read  The New Vintage Kitchen

My friend Bernadette from New Classic Recipe (https://newclassicrecipe.com) came up with the idea to have an on-line cookbook club with some of her blog buddies. What a fun, and great way to choose a recipe or two from the books, cook them, and review the books.

“Milk Street Tuesday Nights Mediterranean,” from Christopher Kimball

      The first book she selected (we are all suggesting different cookbooks) was “Milk Street Tuesday Nights Mediterranean,” by Christopher Kimball. The book is about simplicity, getting a meal on the table on a weeknight quickly, and deliciously. The recipes I chose lived up to those goals.

Organized by speed

      The book iMy friend Bernadette from New Classic Recipe (https://newclassicrecipe.com) came up with the idea to have an on-line cookbook club with some of her blog buddies. What a fun, and great way to choose a recipe or two from the books, cook them, and review the books.

First up, a pasta

      I chose two recipes from the book, and, despite being totally contrary to the way I usually use a cookbook (inspiration), and the way I usually execute a cookbook’s recipe (by the feel of it and what I like), I stayed almost totally true to what was written. My only deviation in the recipe was to substitute plant milk for whole milk, and I was confident it would not adversely affect the recipe because it was only being used as a softener of the breadcrumbs to make the panade. Besides, I didn’t have any milk in the house and didn’t feel like going to the store for ¼ cup of full-fat dairy. I also wanted to add more garlic but didn’t. Do you also always want to tweak here or there? Can’t leave anything alone!

Winter comfort food

      I started with the Whole Wheat Pasta with Walnut Sauce and Swiss Chard, a perfect dish for the winter in the north, which we’re told is based on a pasta dish from Liguria in Northern Italy. Additionally, my granddaughter was staying over and since her mother is allergic to tree nuts, this would be something she’d never have a home. Once I said the word spaghetti, she was all in!

In the time it takes for the pasta to cook

      We can almost always find local Swiss chard, and the rest of the ingredients were all from the pantry. You could easily substitute spinach or another hearty green here if you can’t find the chard. In the time it took the water to boil and the pasta to cook, everything else was ready and waiting. I like that in a weeknight pasta dish.

A hit with all

      The dish was delightful, and everyone loved it; a double thumbs up from the kid! Extremely rich and creamy, even though there was no cream in it! The walnuts were indeed the star, and the nuttiness of the whole wheat pasta complimented them. There was only one tablespoon of lemon juice in the sauce, and if I make this again, I would bump this up; with so much pasta, the lemon didn’t even seem to have a presence or cut the richness, and the recipe made a lot! While it says it will feed 4 to 6, we got eight good servings out of this.

KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL COOKBOOK CLUB – Dorothy Grover-Read reviews Whole Wheat Pasta with Walnut Sauce and Swiss Chard

Recipe by Richard Kimball

An easy and very tasty pasta dinner.

Course: DinnerCuisine: ItalianDifficulty: Easy
Servings

-46

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 panko bread crumb

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 whole wheat farfalle or spahetti

  • kosher salt and ground pepper to taste

  • 1 buch 1 swiss chard leaves chopped into 2 inch pieces (approximately 1lb.)

  • 1 and 1/2 cups 1 and 1/2 walnuts

  • 1 ounce 1 Parmesan Cheese, chopped

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 small 1 garlic clove

  • 1 tablespoon 1 lemon juice

  • 1 tablespoon 1 fresh marjoram or oregano, minced

  • Parmesan to garnish

Preparation

  • In a small bowl, stir together the panko and milk; set aside while you cook the pasta.
  • In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Stir in the pasta 2 tablespoons of salt, then cook occasionally stirring until 2 to 3 minutes shy of al dente.
  • Add the chard to the pot and cook until the pasta is al dente.
  • Reserve about 1 1/2 cups of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and greens; return them to the pot.
  • Meanwhile, in a food processor, combine the panko mixture, walnuts, Parmesan, oil, garlic, lemon juice, marjoram, and 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Pulse until walnuts are roughly chopped, about three pulses, the process until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (about 20 seconds). Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water, then process until smooth and creamy, approximately 30 seconds, scraping down the sides of the bowl.
  • Add the walnut sauce to the pasta-chard mixture and toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed, so the sauce coats the noodles.
  • Serve drizzled with additional oil and sprinkled with grated Parmesan.

Notes

  • Author’s Note: Don’t toast the walnuts for this sauce. Only use chard leaves not the stems.
  • My Notes: I used almost the entire 1 1/2 cups of water in making the sauce, so don’t forget to save the full amount of pasta water. I think this would be delicious with any favorite nut, pecans or cashews come to mind here! You could also substitute a favorite green here as well, such as spinach, if you can’t find chard. I would be tempted to chop up and use the stems as well, or the pickling idea served alongside would be good. Again, I would add a bit more acid to cut the richness.

Now, for a bean dish

      The second dish I made was Spicy White Beans with Tahini, Lemon, and Parsley, based on a Turkish dish called “Piyaz.” You can put this together in 15 minutes, and it is full of flavor and spice. The recipe calls for a basic lemon and tahini dressing tossed with white beans that have been warmed with cumin and coriander seeds and garlic that have bloomed in olive oil. The recipe called for 3 tablespoons of lemon juice, but no zest. I made the dish as written and tasted it. It was really good. Then I couldn’t resist, I added the zest of that lemon, and it was even better.

Beautiful full-page photos

      One of the best aspects of the cookbook is the beautiful photography. Every recipe is presented shot with a full-page glossy photo. This is always a plus for me! Takes a lot of guesswork out of the process, and gets the mouth watering as well!

Budget and time friendly

      Is this book going to “change the way America Cooks?” not really, but the bottom line is that whether you are a fan of Kimball or not, the book has some good basics, and simple introduction to flavors from other countries; if you want to spread your wings, have a little fun on a Tuesday night,  and try something new in terms of spices, but don’t have a lot of extra time, you’ll find some good ideas here that won’t break the bank. The ingredients are easily sourced for the most part, and suggestions are made for possible substitutions. For instance, a recipe called for ground sumac, and let you know you could substitute a little lemon juice if it couldn’t be found. 

 Does this cookbook deserve a place on my shelf? Yes, I would buy this, drool over the photographs, get some inspiration, and make it my way.

My bio from the website:

                  I’m a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I’m also a wife, mother, grandmother, and sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, in no particular order on any given day. 

                I’ve been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column “Memorable Meals,” which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read.

         Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. After many years of daily serving up our local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class as the spirit moves me. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always.

        My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there have to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised.  I eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!).

        I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies!

        I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy.

       I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a little healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in the sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips!

       And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It’s a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all!

XXXOOO Dorothy

Thank you Dot for your gift of time and expertise and for joining me in this project. It is always a pleasure to find Dorothy’s post (https://vintagekitchen.org/about/), in my inbox. I think you should check out her blog. I know you will become a fan.

18 responses to “KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL COOKBOOK CLUB – Dorothy Grover-Read reviews Whole Wheat Pasta with Walnut Sauce and Swiss Chard”

  1. Darlene – British Columbia, Canada – Writer of children's stories, short stories and travel articles. https://twitter.com/#!/supermegawoman http://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=201634059868404&id=631897250&ref=notif&notif_t=like#!/pages/Darlene-Foster-Writer/362236842733
    Darlene says:

    Both of these recipes look very good and I must try them. Thanks for sharing these Dorothy. What an amazing cookbook.

    • Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. After many years of daily serving up of our local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class as the spirit moves me. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
      Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

      They were good solid recipes that I highly recommend!

  2. Awakening Wonders – Everyday life is filled with wondrous things and embraceable moments, but only if we allow ourselves to be fully awakened. I invite you to join me as I share passionate life adventures and ramblings that awaken my spirit. I look forward to awakening your senses to the simple, joyous wonders that are all around us. I feel that we are destined to become soulful adventurers!
    Awakening Wonders says:

    Cooking healthy – perfect!

  3. Clive – A Man of Kent, long exiled in Essex. I retired in September 2013 and life is generally good. Started the blog for mental health, which is still an important theme for me, but lately I seem to have become a blog DJ 😊🤘
    Clive says:

    These look delicious! If you hadn’t deleted the ‘like’ button I’d have hit it 😊

    • Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. After many years of daily serving up of our local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class as the spirit moves me. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
      Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

      Thanks Clive, this was really fun.

  4. Retirement Reflections – Vancouver Island, BC – Prior to retirement, I lived and worked in Beijing China for fourteen years (Middle School Principal/Deputy Director at The Western Academy of Beijing). Leaving international life behind, my husband and I retired to Vancouver Island in June 2015. To document both this transition and our new adventures, ‘Retirement Reflections’ was born. I hope that you enjoy reading these reflections, and will be willing to share your own.
    Retirement Reflections says:

    Hi, Dorothy – I also have a preference for plant-based cooking. Both recipes that you have shared here look delicious. I especially look forward to trying the Spicy White Beans (I will definitely add the extra lemon zest). 😀

    • Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. After many years of daily serving up of our local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class as the spirit moves me. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
      Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

      The extra zest made a nice difference. Both recipes were delicious, and a hit with all!

  5. I like that white bean and tahini sauce…so creamy!

  6. johnrieber – I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, "everyone eats!"
    johnrieber says:

    Terrific recipes…I love the idea of this series!

      • johnrieber – I love great food, interesting books, fascinating travel, outrageous movies, and bacon, especially when it sits on top of a great cheeseburger! I work in entertainment – and I have been lucky enough to interview some really talented Artists – that guides my posts: interesting and provocative movies, music, social media and of course, food, since I believe strongly in the maxim, "everyone eats!"
        johnrieber says:

        I am back in town now and will be reading all details in order to take part!

  7. Dorothy's New Vintage Kitchen – I'm a writer, cook, gardener, photographer, poet, quilter, and accomplished daydreamer. I'm also a wife, mother, grandmother, sister. cousin, aunt, and friend, no particular order on any given day. I've been a writer all my life, newspaper reporter and columnist, radio news writer, and magazine contributor, and poet and short-story writer as the spirit moves. Now, I turn my attention to my cookbook, the blog, and a cooking column "Memorable Meals," which runs in our county newspaper. Besides my family, I love dogs, cats, good coffee, and my never-dwindling pile of books I intend to read. Our family ran a small Vermont Inn for 18 years, with our focus on local, organic ingredients. After many years of daily serving up of our local delicacies, cooking classes, and catering, we are now only open for special events, and the odd cooking class as the spirit moves me. We also host musicians and artists, having helped produce a musical festival and other musical events for nearly 20 years. Many incredible artists have found a place at our table. Wonderful experiences, we will treasure always. My family and friends are my practice subjects. With a family that includes nut, peanut, tree fruit, and vegetable allergies, gluten intolerance, dairy intolerance, vegetarians, vegans, heart conscious, and a couple of picky eaters, there has to be a few quick tricks in the book to keep everyone fed and happy! Personally, I do not eat red meat or most dairy (usually) for health reasons, making the occasional exception at Thanksgiving and Christmas or our anniversary if the duck is locally raised. I do eat fish and seafood, so I try to come up with alternatives and substitutions when available. I serve local organic eggs and cheeses to my family who can tolerate dairy (My husband recently had a heart attack, and I need to watch my own cholesterol so I am careful, but have been known to let a little piece of really good cheese accidentally fall on my plate!). I believe strongly that eating in a way that is good for our planet is also good for our bodies! I cook by the seasons and draw on inspiration from the strong and talented women in my family who came before me, as well as the youth in the family who look at the world with fresh eyes. Food links us all, whether sharing a meal, cooking it together, or writing about it for others to enjoy. I love taking an old recipe and giving it a modern spin, especially if I can make it a littler healthier and use foods that are kinder to the Earth and to our bodies. I believe strongly in sustainable, delicious eating of whole foods, and the wonderful flavors we have at our fingertips! And finally, I love conversing with all the talented cooks and chefs out there who dot the globe! It's a wonderful, world full of culinary pen pals, and I cherish them all! XXXOOO Dorothy
    Dorothy’s New Vintage Kitchen says:

    Thanks so much for including me in this really fun cookbook club Bernie! You picked a really good book with which to begin this adventure!

  8. V.M.Sang – UK – I was born and educated in the north west of England. I trained as a teacher in Manchester and taught in Salford, Lancashire, Hampshire and Croydon. I write fantasy novels currently. I also make cards, knit, crochet, tat, do cross stitch and paint. I enjoy walking on the Downs, cycling and kayaking. I do not enjoy housework, but like cooking.
    V.M.Sang says:

    I love beans, so I’ll definitely try the bean one.

  9. Both of these look good, but the beans will be a dish I’ll make. Like you I like to tweak…and like you would def be wanting to add more than 1 clove of garlic – whoever heard of such a thing?

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