June 7, 2012

rainbow chard

colorful rainbow chard stalks

We're happy with the organic produce box we got this week which included some beautiful rainbow chard. It's exciting to learn more about these unusual vegetables. Discovering their flavors as we get to try them is part of the fun. It's also inspiring to research and try new recipes and ways to use them. We have green salads everyday now since we started ordering. Good for us :-)

we're enjoying more of these vegetables and fruits everyday

I tossed some torn rainbow chard leaves into the other salad greens so we could taste them raw. They have a slight bitter flavor similar to kale. I reserved the colorful stalks and may try to sautee them next time. I also sliced and added the leaves to the pasta dish shown above.

For the recipe...

4-5 slices bacon, chopped into smaller pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
2-3 rainbow chard leaves, stalks removed then sliced
1/2 cup chopped fresh button mushrooms
1/4 cup low-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup chicken broth (I used low-sodium)
salt and pepper 
grated parmesan cheese
4 oz. rotini pasta

In a skillet, cook the bacon until crispy. Drain and set aside. In another pot, cook the pasta al dente. Drain then transfer to a serving bowl. Reserve a little pasta water. In the skillet with a little of the bacon drippings, cook the garlic then add the grape tomatoes, mushrooms and the rainbow chard leaves. Season with salt and pepper. Add a little water then simmer for a few minutes. Transfer to a small bowl, keep warm covered. In the same skillet, over low heat, pour in the chicken broth then stir in cream cheese. Continue to stir and simmer until mixture is smooth and creamy. Add pasta water if mixture gets too thick. Pour over the cooked pasta. Top with the tomato and chard mixture. Sprinkle the crispy bacon on top evenly then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

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