I've had a tremendously busy weekend. I'll tell you more about Saturday later on in the week as my head is still buzzing, but for Sunday I found myself helping my parents at their new allotment. Its looking pretty good. They have got potatoes in the ground, chickpeas, daikon, fenugreek and lots of coriander. I tell you it has been a while since I have worked that hard, my lower back was aching that I was really looking forward to having a bath when I got back home.
My mother got given a bunch of red chard by one of the vegetable growers there. She prefers the green variety and gave it to me to cook with. I absolutely adore Rainbow Swiss Chard and Bright Lights Chard. It adds so much cheer and colour to the garden. I really missed growing it last year. Chard is something I am growing this year and I am pleased to say, that the seedlings are doing fantastic, even though some of them got knocked about in the high winds a couple of weeks ago.
Red also known as Ruby Chard does have a distinct 'rooty' taste to it, the closest I can compare it to is the flavour of beetroot. However once sauteed for this dish, it actually tasted more of the sea than beetroot or spinach. There is a seaweed taste to it, in fact I'd go as far as saying 'fishy'. I think its when the balsamic infuses the chard, it alters the flavour somewhat.
My nephew came on over earlier this evening and had a bowl of this pasta at room temperature. He topped it with loads of crumbled feta cheese. He snugged his nose and gave me his honest opinion. It had a 'fishy taste to it' and continued eating. He is polite, even if he is not that keen on what I make, he is always courteous and cleans his plate. I think D would like 'fishy overtones' of the dish. I'll find out later, as he has taken a lunchbox full of this pasta for his working lunch today. Oh I can't remember, if I shared with you. Early this month, D found employment. Its only temporary, but any kind of income is something for us. UPDATED: D said he could understand what my nephew meant by describing the pasta dish as fishy, but for him it was more vinegar sharp, brine like. He said he did not mind it.
I am sharing this at Presto Pasta Nights (PPN). PPN was founded by Ruth Daniels of Once Upon a Feast and each Friday night a different host posts a roundup of pasta dishes submitted by bloggers from around the world. This week PPN #264 is being hosted by Alisha of Cook, Craft, Enjoy.
Balsamic Infused Red Chard Pasta
Serves 2 - 4
Cook pasta for 2 - 3 people and set aside
Bunch of red chard including stems
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, finely sliced
2 - 3 tablespoons good Balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: crumbled feta cheese or goats cheese
Thoroughly wash the chard, cut off the thick stems and chop them. Set them aside. Then roughly chop the leaves.
Heat the olive oil in a wide pan, add the onion and saute until it begins to soften, then stir in the chopped chard stems and continue to cook for a few minutes, until they begin to soften. Add the chard leaves and cook until it wilts. Stir in salt and balsamic vinegar to taste.
Stir in the cooked pasta and stir well to combine. Check and adjust seasoning, before serving on a plates with a scattering of optional feta or goats cheese.