Every second Tuesday morning I put a plastic bin on our front porch before I leave for work. During the day I often wonder: what produce treasures will I come home too? Fresh strawberries? Asparagus? A squash?
If it is raining I think about making squash soups. On nicer days I sometimes hope it is some salad green like dandelion or spinach and wonder if should buy some walnuts to go in my salad.
Usually my fantasies only go that far because we get the same produce delivery every week. Opening the bin I am always greeted by apples, potatoes, carrots and more recently citrus, cucumber and sometimes mushrooms. The fruit and vegetables are always crisp and fresh, but I like the challenge of something different and unusual. A vegetable which spawns a new recipe.
This week I was thrilled to find a bunch of Swiss chard so long it barely fit in the 3 foot bin. I removed the inner stems, chopped it roughly and had a huge colander full. That was 5 stems.
Since chard is nice with simple flavours like chilies and garlic I created this very simple chard recipe, another vegetarian carbonara pasta but with Swiss chard.
Spaghetti with Swiss Chard Recipe(serves 2)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add 2 teaspoons salt. Remove the large stems from the Swiss chard and roughly chop. Wash chard thoroughly and add to water for 12 minutes. Meanwhile prepare a bowl of very cold or ice water, drain the chard and plunge into the cold water until chilled. Drain and spin dry.
Fill the pot with water again and add more salt, bring to a boil. In a large skillet add butter and oil over medium low heat. Put spaghetti on to cook and meanwhile add garlic, and chilies to the skillet. Stir the chilies and garlic as the pasta cooks. A minute before the pasta is ready add the lemon zest and chard and stir together to warm through.
In a large bowl gently scramble the two eggs with cheese and a big pinch of pepper. Drain spaghetti well and toss with egg mixture. When well mixed and in chard mixture and toss. Taste and correct as necessary with salt and pepper.