Friday, June 28, 2013

...Tastiness (CSA Style) - Swiss Chard Pasta

A lifetime ago, when H was a tiny baby, after watching Food Inc., B and I decided that we wanted to keep his life as preservative free as possible.  We didn't realize how difficult this task could actually be - especially when H turned out to be the world's pickiest child.  

Fast forward to the present.  H is now a much better eater.  After more than our fair share of dinner table stand-offs, there are very few items H will not eat, and L hasn't met a food she doesn't like.  Just like her mommy.  

We had heard of CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture) and wanted to get involved.  After a ridiculous amount of research, we were able to find a farmer who delivered to the suburbs near our house.  As excited as can be, we emailed Farmer Bob, and were informed that he didn't have any more availability for the year.  And so we were wait-listed.  But this year, we got in!  After sending a check in November for 20 weeks worth of produce this summer, I became even more excited.  My favorite part of the CSA delivery is that we don't know what will be in the box until the day (or day before) we pick it up.  Then, I get to plan our meals around its contents - some of which I've never used.

This week, B picked up our box on Saturday when I was on a girls' trip to Michigan.  When I got home on Tuesday, I saw that he put the swiss chard on the top shelf of the fridge, and it was beginning to be a little damaged from being too cold.  So swiss chard was the first item to be used, and I had never cooked with it before.  So I headed to Pinterest to see what I could find, and pretty much everything I saw needed ingredients I didn't have on hand.  The fridge was fairly empty, as B had been home alone for 4 days fending for himself.  It was time to improvise. And thus the cleverly named "Swiss Chard Pasta" was born.

First, in pictures:

Swiss Chard - Bright Lights Variety
You can see the frosty damage 

Everything you need (except the chicken and parmesan)
Lemons, Onion, Garlic Chives, Olive Oil, Chard,
Whole Wheat Spaghetti,Crushed Red Pepper,
Montreal Steak Seasoning

B doesn't always love a meatless meal.

Garlic, Onion, Swiss Chard, Garlic Chives, and Lemon Zest
sauteing in olive oil

Putting the finishing touches on with freshly grated parmesan

L looking forward to dinner.
Yes, they eat the lemons.  Freaks.
H cheesing over his plate.
He informed me that he doesn't eat swiss chard, so I told him I made his with spinach, which he loves.
Oh the lies we tell...

Swiss Chard Pasta

  • Chicken Breast (totally optional - unless you're B)
  • Olive Oil (I didn't measure)
  • Montreal Steak Seasoning (or similar)
  • 4-5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 Bunch Swiss Chard (Bright Lights Variety - but any variety would do), tough stems removed then sliced
  • 2-3 Tablespoons Garlic Chives (you could skip this, but they were in the box so I thought I'd throw them in)
  • 2 Lemons (you'll use the zest and the juice)
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • 1/2 lb Whole Wheat Spaghetti
  1. Bring pot of water to a boil.  While this is boiling, get started on the rest of the meal.
  2. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet.  Add chicken breasts and season liberally with Montreal Steak Seasoning.  Depending on the thickness of the chicken, heat 4-6 minutes on each side until cooked through.  Remove chicken from skillet.
  3. Add spaghetti noodles to boiling water and cook according to package directions.
  4. Wipe out skillet with a paper towel if it got brown from the chicken - or just use a fresh one.  Add 3-4 tablespoons of olive oil and bring to a medium heat.  Add garlic and onion and saute until onion is translucent - about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add swiss chard to skillet and continue stirring until wilted.
  6. Add zest of lemons, garlic chives, and a pinch of crushed red pepper.
  7. While this is simmering (you know, I don't really know the difference between simmering, sauteing and all that), slice up the chicken breast and add it to the skillet.
  8. When the pasta is finished, add it to the skillet.  I didn't drain the pasta, but rather transferred it using tongs so a little bit of the pasta water came with it into the skillet.
  9. Squeeze the juice of both lemons onto the pasta and chard mixture and toss.
  10. Grate some fresh parmesan onto your pasta - to taste.  And...enjoy!!!

1 comment:

  1. I'm not sure I've ever had Swiss Chard...this looks delicious!