The ruby chard used in this recipe was grown at Tiphereth, a small community just outside Edinburgh. (This is one of two places where my sister, Annie, works during the week. The other is Garvald.)
The black-eyed beans came from a Tesco's tin. However, they reminded me of The Ballad of Billy Joe, by Bobbie Gentry. (If you spotify, you can click here to hear it.)
For anyone who doesn't know it, this is one of those beautiful storytelling Country & Western songs which tells the tale of the suicide of Billy Joe, in which the 'narrator' is involved in some way. One thing which makes the song so intriguing is that the nature of her involvement is left unclear. Another aspect of the lyrics which I love is the intermingling of the tragic and the everyday:
And then she said "I got some news this mornin' from Choctaw Ridge"
"Today Billy Joe MacAllister jumped off the Tallahatchie Bridge"
'n' Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas
"Well Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please"
1 bunch of ruby chard
2 cloves of garlic
1 large handful of cashew nuts
1 tin of black-eyed beans
2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
2 tablespoons of soy sauce
1 tablespoon of chilli sauce
2 tablespoons of sesame oil
- Chop the chard stalks into small pieces; cut the leaves more roughly and keep separate. Finely chop the garlic. Chop the tomatoes into smallish chunks.
- If using dried noodles, prepare them as per the instructions (soaking or cooking, depending on the type).
- Fry the chard stalks, garlic and cashew nuts in the vegetable oil for 30 seconds or so, add the tomatoes, chard leaves and black-eyed beans, together with the soy and chilli sauce and stir-fry for another 30 seconds.
- Add the noodles to the mix, stir to mix and heat through the noodles, dress with sesame oil and serve.
And still on my C&W theme, is Kenny Rogers the only mainstream artist to have written and performed not one but two songs in which impotency plays a key role? (Lucille and Ruby, Don't Take Your Love to Town.)