Recently in chard Category

spinach_tortellini_soup.jpgGwendolyn's was my favorite cafe in Panama City, serving sandwiches, homemade ice cream, and a beloved rotation of homemade soups. They closed a year or so ago and I've moved a couple times, but I still have cravings for their best soup: Spinach Tortellini. This is my attempt at recreating it, done by feel since the owners have yet to release their secret recipes. Tip: cook bone-chicken breasts (using for example this stovetop recipe) the night before making this soup and use the bones to flavor the broth. It really helps intensify the flavor if you don't have time to make homemade stock (I never do).

1 onion, chopped
5 stalks celery, chopped
1 bunch chard or other leafy green, chopped
4-6 c. chicken broth
leftover chicken bones - with some meat attached
1/2 package frozen chopped spinach
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 lb. cheese tortellini
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped fine
1 tbs fresh oregano, chopped fine
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Heat a little olive oil in a soup pot over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion, celery, and chard stem pieces. Saute until the onion turns translucent and just begins to brown, then add the chard leaves. Saute until wilted (just a few minutes) and then add the chicken broth, chicken bones, frozen spinach and seasonings. Bring to a boil, then simmer around an hour or so until the broth becomes flavorful from the chicken bones. Remove chicken bones, add tomatoes and tortellini, and bring to a boil. The soup is done when the tortellini is cooked through.

chard_tart_sm.jpgAn elegant savory tart full of chard, onion and thyme held together by eggs and Parmesan on an oregano whole wheat crust. Perfect for a tea or brunch. Can made ahead and served warm or cold.

Crust:

1 c. whole wheat flour
1 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp dried oregano or thyme
1/4 c. olive oil
1/2 c. cold water (I used less)

Makes enough to line a 28- to 30-cm (11- to 12-inch) tart pan.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease the pan lightly if it doesn't have a nonstick coating.

Combine the flour, salt, and herbs in a medium mixing bowl. Add the oil and mix it in with a fork. Add the water, mix with the fork until it is absorbed, then knead lightly (with just one hand, in the bowl) until the dough comes together into a ball.

Turn the dough out on a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle a little flour on the ball of dough and on the rolling pin, and roll the dough out into a circle large enough to fit your tart pan. Turn the dough by 45 degrees (a quarter of a circle) every time you roll the pin and back, adding a little more flour underneath and on the dough when it seems on the verge of becoming sticky. The trick is to do this in quick, assertive gestures to avoid overworking the dough.

Transfer the dough carefully into the prepared pan and line it neatly. Trim the excess dough (re-roll it and cut into decorative shapes to top the tart), and place the pan in the fridge for 30 minutes to rest.

You can then blind-bake the crust (prick with a fork first, cover with foil, and cook at 400°F for 12 minutes), or garnish it straight away, depending on the filling. Either way, it will take 20 to 25 minutes at 200°C (400°F) to bake thoroughly.

Filling:

1 bunch of rainbow chard, stems and leaves chopped
1 onion, diced
1 big garlic clove minced
4 large eggs
2 Tb. half and half or milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2-1 tsp dried thyme
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan
aged balsamic vinegar for garnish

Heat olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the chard stems (you will add the leaves later) and thyme. Cook for 7-10 minutes until the stems are tender. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Add the chard leaves. Cook until the leaves are wilted and soft and any liquid has evaporated, 7-10 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and let cool.

Beat together the eggs and season with salt and a pinch of pepper. Add the chard mixture and parmesan. Mix well and scrape the filling into the prepared shell.

Bake for 10-20 minutes, or until set. Let cool for 10 minutes, remove from pan and serve warm with a drizzle of balsamic.

Original recipe (filling)

Original recipe (crust)


creamy_pasta_sm.jpgA simple, hearty, all-in-one pasta dish with main flavors of sausage, garlic, and fresh pepper. Mushrooms, onion, and wilted greens round out the vegetables. Feel free to use whichever dark leafy green you like. Could easily be a good vegetarian meal or side dish if you omit the meat.

1 pound whole wheat pasta, like penne or farfalle
1 large onion, diced
8 ounces button (or portabella) mushrooms, sliced
greens: 1 bunch chard (about 1 pound), stems removed and diced, leaves cut into ribbons
            OR 1 bunch kale, stems removed and discarded, leaves chopped
            OR 1 bunch rapini, stalks removed and discarded, leaves and florets chopped
2 sausage links (8 ounces), sliced, or chopped ham (optional)
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
3 ounces cream cheese, marscapone, or other soft creamy cheese
1/2 cup pasta water, saved from cooking pasta
kosher salt
freshly cracked black pepper
optional: red pepper flakes

Cook the pasta in a large amount of boiling water with a good palm-ful of salt. Just before draining, use a measuring cup to dip out about a half cup of the starchy pasta water, and set this aside.

If using meat, saute it over medium-high heat until brown and crispy, set aside.

Heat a teaspoon of olive oil in a large skillet or dutch oven over medium-high heat . Add the onion with a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is softened and translucent. Add the mushrooms and another pinch of salt. Cook until the mushrooms have released their liquid, the liquid has boiled away, and the mushrooms are turning golden. Stir in the diced chard stems and the sausage. Cook until the stems are softened and the sausage is warmed through.

Clear a space in the middle of the pan and add the garlic. Cook just until the garlic is fragrant, then stir it into the rest of the vegetables. Lower the heat to medium and stir in the chard leaves. Continue stirring frequently until the leaves are bright green and wilted.

Stir in the cooked pasta and the cream cheese. When the cheese has melted, pour in half of the reserved cooking water to make a creamy sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, pour in the remaining pasta water a little at a time.

Grind the fresh pepper right over the pasta. Don't be shy! Taste as you go to gauge how peppery the pasta has become and how you like it. Season with additional salt, if desired.

Leftovers will keep refrigerated for up to one week.

Original recipe