Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sauteed Garlic Rainbow Chard over Red Wine Pesto Pasta

My first CSA box arrived last week -- from Glacier Valley CSA. I've been yammering on about it for almost a month. High time I got my act together. And, so far, I'm not disappointed!

I'm also trying a box from Full Circle next week... the experiment is on!
I picked up my bountiful box from a local business and unloaded it, drooling over the beautiful contents spread out on my kitchen counter.

Wouldn't you drool... mmm. The colors!

One of the things I find extremely necessary in an Alaska winter is to have fresh flowers in the house... all the time! What gets me here is not so much the dark (though I dislike it) but the lack of color as everything falls into a category of white, dark or some shade of gray betwixt the two.
Look at these babies.

This one is hot pink!!!

I adore the color pink. Especially hot pink. And, especially when it appears naturally!

What do you do when you know nothing about a particular food? Google it! Find inspiration. Mine came in the form of Food and Wine Magazine.

Although it's been said that I'm an adventurous eater (the only food I've found that I HATE is beets), I also am a firm believe in Plan B -- just ask my husband... he teases me about making contingencies for contingency plans (only half jokingly).

Interestingly enough, I learned that chard is related to beets, but somehow, it must be enough different that I like them. What this really means is that rainbow chard does not taste like dirt to me, as do most beets; something about a genetically recessive trait. Chard is also SUPER healthy: high in vitamins A, K and C, AND filled with minerals, dietary fiber and protein. Super good for you - a superfood?

When in doubt, make pasta.

Garlic Rainbow Chard over Red Wine Pesto Pasta

Sauteed Rainbow Chard with Garlic
modified from Food & Wine

Though the original recipe calls for lemon zest, I have no lemons to zest. It also calls for four pounds of chards, and I'm sure that I didn't use that much. I couldn't bear to use it all up.

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves thinly sliced 
4 (?) pounds rainbow (or ruby) chard
salt and freshly ground pepper

Rinse the chard, discard the stems, and remove the internal ribs, chopping the ribs into 2" pieces.

Slice the leaves into 2" ribbons.

Place about half the olive oil in a good sized pan. Toss in the garlic cloves and cook until golden.

Next, add the leaves, a handful at a time, allowing each batch to wilt before adding more. Sautee until the liquid evaporates.

Set aside leaves and wipe out the pan.

Add the remaining oil and add sliced ribs to pan, cooking until crispy.

Red Wine Pesto Pasta
8 oz pasta (1/2 box), cooked
1 tbsp red wine
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon pesto parmesan (one of my favorite discoveries from Savory)

After the pasta is cooked, toss together the other ingredients.

As it turns out, no back up was needed! Score!! However, since it was made... and so lovely, I opted to include it as part of the meal, just like it was the original plan. Er, it was the original plan, I swear!

Serve the sauteed greens over the pasta and and a few sprinkles of feta for texture!

Voila! Enjoy!

The verdict: Absolutely FABULOUS first experience with a CSA. Delicious. A keeper.


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