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Swap eggplant out for Swiss chard. (Photo: David Loftus.)

Family Italian, a new cookbook release from famed Italian chef (and Jamie Oliver mentor) Gennaro Contaldo, is packed with the recipes we want to cook. From haute cuisine to rustic peasant food — we love the whole spectrum — Family Italian is one of those books that puts you in the mood for a big, hearty dinner. Pick up this instant Meatless Monday classic and get ready to devour this seasonal leafy green.

It’s a shame Swiss chard is not popular in this country, but it can be found at the market during late summer and autumn. When I was a young boy, the Parmigiana would be served as a side dish and it amazes me now how we could eat this along with a starter of pasta and a main course! When I make it, it is usually a main course, served with good bread, to mop up the sauce, and a green salad. Although only the stalks are used for this recipe, don’t throw away the green leaves – boil them for a minute or two, then drain and serve with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (you could serve this as an accompaniment to the Parmigiana). 

Reprinted with permission from Family Italian