Monday, July 19, 2010

Back to Berry Patch Farms!

We are blessed to live fifteen minutes from an adorable berry farm that sells all sorts of locally grown fresh produce. They are open mid-June to November and it is one of our most favorite places to visit. You can cut your own basil, mingle with chickens and sample berries growing sweet in the sun. It is quaint, friendly and welcoming.
In my new quest to maximize our pantry-living, we were completely out of produce (except for a couple wilted beets in the bottom drawer) and so Silas, Judah and I made our first visit of the year to Berry Patch Farms today. Their berries won’t be ripe for a couple of weeks, but we picked our own basil and got some other vegetables. They had a special on Swiss chard (something I have not cooked often before, but have heard the health benefits of it), and I thought I’d give it a try.
Swiss chard is a leafy green that is in the same family as beets and spinach. It has tender leaves and bright, multi-colored stalks (yellow, red and white). I have a serious supply of fresh garlic right now and I had a box of whole wheat spaghetti, so I threw them all together and it made something pretty magical! I am now a Swiss chard convert and hope you’ll give it a try as well!

Garlicky Swiss Chard and Whole Wheat Spaghetti

1 8 oz package whole wheat spaghetti (reserving half cup of pasta cooking water)
1 bunch swiss chard, washed and dried
4-5 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped
2 Tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon chicken base or 1 bouillon cube
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese, divided
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup basil leaves, thinly sliced into ribbons
Cook spaghetti according to package directions, until al dente (8-10 minutes). Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water and stir chicken base into it until dissolved.
Strip leaves of Swiss chard away from stems. Roughly chop stems and tear leaves into bite-sized pieces. In a large skillet over medium-low heat, slowly heat olive oil and garlic. When garlic is fragrant, add Swiss chard stems and saute over medium high heat until stems are tender. Stir in leaves. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice. Add pasta and stir to wilt leaves. Stir in pasta water and butter and toss to combine until heated through. Add half of Parmesan cheese and stir one final time. Divide into pasta bowls and garnish with scallions, basil leaves and extra Parmesan.

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