Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Balsamic Infused Red Chard Pasta

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
Ingredients
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
Method
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.

27 comments:

  1. I am still working off last years chard. I think the fishy taste would put my son off. He would eat pasta for every meal if he was let. He even puts left over pasta in sandwiches.

    Glad D got some work. It does the soul good to be earning.

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    1. I def. think its the addtion of the balsamic vinegar - omit that and it tastes completely different. Yeah I am pleased there will be income coming in, finally x

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  2. This looks fab Shaheen, I've always just use it as a spinach substitute so it's good to get new ideas. Love the sound of your parents' allotment! x

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    1. There are lots of swiss chard recipes on my blog. i love growing it. Hope to show off some pics of my parents allotment in the near future.

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  3. I love rainbow chard pass up green every time. The color just draws me in. Looks like something I would eat all summer

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    1. It is a beautiful veg: to grow and to eat.

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  4. Interesting. I never knew balsamic vinegar addled the taste of chard. Now this puts me in dilemma. The pasta looks so good I want to try it but I have never been a sea food fan yet and that makes me hesitate. Should I go ahead and give it a try anyway? If I don't like it I'll give it all to my sister. She eats anything.

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    1. Just don't use the balsamic on the chard, if your not keen on the flavour. I have to admit, I only had a little, D has taken the rest into work today to finish off. Yeah, give it to your sister too.

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  5. This reminds me that I should sow the rainbow swiss chard seeds. The pasta looks very delicious!

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    1. Malle,
      Hurry and get your skates on and get sowing some of those seeds.

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  6. that's great news that D has some work - and very odd how you describe this chard as fishy. Love hearing about your nephew - he sounds very sweet

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    1. Thanks so much Johanna.
      Its actually the balsamic that alters the flavour of the chard, D said it was more briney/pickly than fishy.

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  7. try beetroot leaves, they are very tasty too

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  8. Thanks gz.
    Just brought some beetroot this morning with leaves in tact, will def. be doing something with them.

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  9. That looks very tasty and well done D for getting some work. xx

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  10. Chard sounds good... also good to hear someone else planting chickpeas... i am trying them for the first time this year!

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    1. Thanks Sylvan, My parents grow chickpeas every year. The taste is so different from the tinned and dried ones. Good luck with them.

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  11. Thanks so much for contributing to this week's Presto Pasta Nights! I love how adding different ingredients sometimes give you unexpected flavors. This sounds just lovely!

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  12. this is such a classic Italian combo which I love. I love to add some good farm sausages from a nearby farm. They are organic! A lovely meal without or with meat! :)

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  13. Hi Shaheen, fab news that your OH has found a bit of work to tide you guys over.
    The only thing I miss about my fish eating days was that vinegary smell from fish n chips. I haven't tried this chard but think I might not like it if it has a bit of a fishyness to it, looks a lovely colour though.
    I mentioned your veggie cafe post via Facebook on the page of my Bridgend friend who is a veggie incase anyone there is interested.
    cheers, Sally

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    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Patty. It is a relief that one of us is getting some income.

      Thanks for the mention on FB to your friend, but I think Bridgend may be a bit far for Pt workers or volunteers, not far to travel for a Supper Club in the future though :)

      I have to admit, I did not eat much of this pasta dish myself. I did find the smell and taste a little overwhelming.

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    2. Oh Sally, I don't know what you go under FB, but if you want to join my FB page. This is the link. Woudd be good to stay in touch, if you so wish x
      http://www.facebook.com/mango.cheeks?ref=tn_tnmn

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  14. Hi Shaheen, I've asked to join your facebook page, I go under Sally on that.
    My Bridgend friend whilst interested said it would be too far for work purposes, I'll be telling him to go to one of your supper clubs when you're up and running.

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    1. Thanks Sally - request accepted. I haven't put my FB page on my blog yet, may do so in the near future.

      I understnd about your Bridgend friend, it is far to travel where my new veggie cafe venture is based. But maybe he and friends will get to check it out some day for a light meal.

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