It is a Rare vegetable that cannot profit from this classic treatment: parboiling it, placing it in a baking dish with butter and Parmesan, and baking it until the cheese forms a crust. In this instance it is a combination of two vegetables, Swiss chard and asparagus. Since their spearlike shape is similar, the contrast in appearance is the subdued one of Swiss chard white against asparagus green. In taste the differences are equally fine, but nonetheless perceptible: the gentle flavor of Swiss chard, the more explicit one of asparagus, a mutually helpful association.
Only the stalks of the chard are employed here. Do not discard the leaves, however; use them in one of the ways suggested in the introduction to the recipe for cannelloni.
© 1986 Marcella Hazan estate. All rights reserved.