Monthly Archives: March 2013

Swiss Chard

Rainbow Chard 3

I’m hearing from many CSA members that they are reaching chard saturation, but I’m only getting started. From a tasty bread pudding that is sublime with a perfectly roasted chicken, to a luscious chard lasagna, I have enjoyed every jewel-hued frond. This soup highlights the best of chard, with its earthy flavors and sweet undertones. Make a giant pot, eat some, freeze some, repeat when the next farm box comes.

These green lentils from Trader Joe's cook up beautifully in this soup.

These green lentils from Trader Joe’s cook up beautifully in this soup.

Roasted Garlic, Lentil and Rainbow Chard Soup

Serves 6-8

2 garlic heads

Olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

2 fresh thyme sprigs

1 bay leaf

1 ½ cup green lentils

8 cups chicken stock

1/2 large bunch Swiss chard, chopped

Salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the garlic in half horizontally, drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil. Roast for 1 hour and set aside to cool. Squeeze the garlic from the skins and discard skins. Chop the garlic into small pieces.

Coat the bottom of a large Dutch oven or stockpot with olive oil. Add the onion to the pot and sauté until fragrant and translucent, about 6 minutes. Add the carrots, thyme sprigs, bay leaf and cook for 5 more minutes.

Add the lentils, roasted garlic and chicken stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, cover and gently summer for 25 to 30 minutes or until the lentils are soft.

Add the Swiss chard. Simmer on low heat until the chard is just wilted, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Orzo Salad with Beets & Spinach

Medi Orzo Salad

This pasta salad is always the hit of the party, and makes tasty use of seasonal ingredients. Change up  the vegetables based on what you have on hand; the strong, pure Mediterranean flavors have a talent to pull almost anything off. Lots of lemon zest and juice, briny kalamata olives, and oregano and dill, which so amply grows on the hillsides of that region, work with veggies like peppers, summer squash, artichoke hearts, and sun-dried tomatoes. I showcased spinach and roasted beets in this version, but you could use whatever the season brings. Except maybe sweet potatoes. That might not work.

Mediterranean Orzo Salad

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 cups uncooked orzo pasta
2 roasted red bell peppers, stemmed, seeded and chopped (or a jar of roasted peppers, drained and chopped)

1/2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup kalamata olives, drained and roughly chopped

2 lemons, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons fresh chopped dill

Olive oil, salt & pepper

2 cups chopped arugula or spinach

1 cup roasted beets, cut into medium dice

Bring a large pot of water to a strong, rolling boil, season generously with salt and put orzo in, stirring to prevent sticking. Cook orzo for 8 minutes and drain in a colander, then rinse until cooled under cold water. Drain well, then pour a bit of olive oil and mix well to coat the pasta.

Add the peppers, tomatoes, feta cheese, olives, lemon zest and juice, oregano, dill, salt and pepper and additional olive oil, if needed, to the pasta, and mix well to combine. Gently toss in the arugula or spinach, taste for additional salt and pepper, top with the beets (do not toss into the salad or they will discolor the salad) and serve room temperature or chilled.