Supper Club

New York Times food writer Melissa Clark '90BC, '94SOA invites everyone to the table.

by Rebecca Shapiro Published Summer 2017
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“People tend to think of rhubarb only in terms of pie, but they forget that it’s actually a vegetable, and terrific in savory dishes,” Clark says. To temper the tartness, she plans to sauté it with the chard, fresh ginger, currants, and maple syrup. She’ll brown the sausages and serve them with the greens over polenta. “Though barley or quinoa would work, too. Or mashed potatoes. And there you have it — dinner!”

For many professional cooks and food writers, home cooking can start to feel like a chore, an extension of the workday. But not for Clark. Even after spending a full day in the kitchen, sometimes baking the same cake a dozen times until it comes out perfectly, she says that the best part of her day is making dinner for her family.

“My husband will put on music and pour some wine. My daughter is at the table, doing her homework. And I’m chopping vegetables,” Clark says. “It’s like getting a weekend every single day.”

Seared Sausage & Rhubarb with Swiss Chard


Seared Sausage & Rhubarb With Swiss Chard

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausages, pricked with a fork
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 bunch green, red, or rainbow Swiss chard, stems cut into ¼-inch slices, leaves torn into bite-sized pieces
8 ounces rhubarb stems, cut into ¼-inch-thick slices
2 tablespoons dried currants
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 bay leaf

1. Heat the olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the sausages and cook until they are cooked through and well browned all over, about 12 minutes total. Transfer the sausages to a plate.
2. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chard stems and continue to cook until the onion is well browned and the chard stems are almost tender, about 7 minutes. Add the rhubarb, currants, maple syrup, garam masala, salt, ginger, and bay leaf to the skillet. Cook, stirring often, until the rhubarb has fallen apart and the chard stems are tender, 7 to 10 minutes. If the bottom of the pan begins to scorch, stir in some water, a few tablespoons at a time.
3. Toss in the chard leaves and cook, stirring frequently, until they are wilted, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chard mixture to a heated serving platter and pluck out the bay leaf.
4. Return the sausages to the skillet and let them heat through, shaking the pan so they crisp a little on all sides, about 2 minutes. Serve the sausages over the rhubarb-chard mixture.


Recipe reprinted from Dinner, published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC.

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