What’s your favorite green? Right now, I’d have to admit that mine is swiss chard. I have these vivid memories of my mom sauteeing it with garlic and olive oil, and as simple as that sounds, it’s ridiculously delicious. So when I saw a vibrant bunch of red stems at the farmers market, I scooped them with Big Tasty Plans. You can thinly slice them raw into salads or on tacos, blanch them for a savory topping, or gently sauté them with alliums for a rad side dish.
These big, leafy creatures are full of nutrients too. Vitamin K, A, and C are found in the gorgeous leaves and stems, similar to other plants in the chenopod family (think beets, spinach, and quinoa). To ensure your chard has the most nutrients possible, pick ones that have firm stalks and crisp leaves with no browning or yellowing.
Maybe it’s my mom’s Italian background, but I thought these savory veggies would go great with fresh pasta. After window shopping in Eataly, I found some beautiful orecchiette to pair it with. (Do you window shop for food too? Is that kinda crazy?) The tender little “ears” are perfect for scooping up morsels of chickpea, garlic, and onion. Then, the tender leaves of swiss chard and basil swaddle them in green, earthy flavor. Hot dang, this tasty dish knocked my tastebudded socks off!
Though I love swiss chard, I kept the balance of pasta:veggies in favor of pasta. If you like a little more green with your flour, then reduce the amount of orecchiette. Also, feel free to swap the whole wheat pasta with quinoa pasta or another gluten-free alternative.
Hope you enjoy this tasty meal. I made a simple chopped salad on the side, but you could serve something heartier like roasted roots.