(recipe from the book Local Flavors used with permission of the author, Deborah Madison)

Serves 4 – 6

local-flavors-cover-blogThe Noodle Nests
2 eggs, separated
3 ounces, (1 3/4 cups) fine egg noodles such as fideos or capellini, uncooked
1/3 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
sea salt
peanut oil for frying

  1. Beat the egg whites until they hold firm peaks, then stir in the yolks, noodles, cheese, and cilantro. Season with a few pinches of salt, then really work the mixture with your hands or a wooden spoon so that it’s more or less
    homogenous. It will look impossibly dry and stiff.
  2. Heat enough oil in a medium skillet over medium-high hear to float the
    noodles, at least 1/3 inch. When it’s hot, drop the batter into the oil, dividing it into
    4 or 6 portions by eye.
  3. Fry until golden, about 1 minute, then turn and fry the second side, another minute. Set aside on paper towels. These can be made hours ahead of time.

The Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 bunches scallions, including an inch or 2 of the greens, finely chopped
1 celery rib, diced
1 cup finely chopped cilantro stems and leaves, packed
Leaves from 1 bunch chard, green or rainbow (bright lights), about 6 cups, packed
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
6 cups vegetable or chicken stock, or water
Cilantro sprigs for garnish

  1. Warm the oil in a soup pot. Add the scallions and celery and cook over
    medium-high heat, stirring occasionally. After a few minutes, add the cilantro and
    ½ cup water so that the vegetables stew rather then fry. Add the chard leaves,
    sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, then cover and cook until the chard has wilted
    down. Add the stock or water.
  2. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and add the noodle nests to the pot. Simmer until the chard is tender, about 10 minutes. Taste for salt and season with
    pepper. Ladle the soup into soup plates, include a noodle nest in each bowl, and
    serve garnished with a sprig of cilantro.