Cooking is such a pleasure this time of year. With the farmers markets brimming with beautiful, local produce, the hardest decision of my week seems to be deciding how to spend my farmers market allowance. Strawberries always take up a good chunk of the budget in June (more on that later in the week), and I cannot resist the beautiful bunches of rainbow chard.
Chard is easily my favorite of the hearty, leafy greens. Kale’s probably a close second, but I adore the way the delicate chard leaves softly wilts into any dish. And unlike kale, you can just chop up the lovely pink stems and throw them right into your dish, so there’s no waste. Last night, I had our friends Kris & Paz over for an impromptu dinner and I whipped up this delicious saute with the chard, tossing in a bunch of other veggies I had in the crisper. A good balsamic brings the dish together, and the golden raisins add just a touch of sweetness. To give the meal a little heartiness, I cooked up some tiny tepary beans, and then served it over a quinoa pilaf. With the crisp rose Kris brought over, it was a perfect summer meal with wonderful company.
Chard & Tepary Bean Saute
Adapted from Naturally Ella
1 1/2 cups cooked tepary beans (or other small, white bean)
1 large bunch of rainbow or swiss chard, stems separated from leaves and chopped. Tear leaves into bite-sized pieces.
1 carrot, peeled and sliced thin
1 T olive oil
1/2 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup golden raisins
3 T pinenuts, toasted
2 T balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
1 T butter (or olive oil)
1 1/2 cup dried quinoa
1/2 onion finely minced
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 cup white wine
2 1/4 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper
- Making the quinoa: Heat a 2-3qt, non-stick pot over medium heat. Add the butter and melt. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and saute until the onions begin to soften, 3-5 minutes. Add the wine, water, salt and a few grinds of black pepper, cover and bring to a boil. When boiling, pour in the quinoa, stir and simmer (without stirring) for 12-15 minutes until the germ separates from the quinoa (that’s the little curly-cue things). Turn off the burner and remove the pot. Let it sit for another 3-5 minutes, then fluff with a fork. The quinoa will stay warm enough while you cook the rest of the meal. (Alternately, saute up the onions & garlic, and then toss everything into your rice cooker on “quick steam” setting – will take about 30min.)
- Sauteing the veggies: Heat a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the oil and when it’s hot and shimmering add the sliced onion and chopped chard stems. Saute for 3-5 minutes until the onions begin to soften. Add the minced garlic, chard leaves, raisins and saute just until the beans are heated through and the chard wilts. Add salt & pepper to taste, and drizzle with 2 T balsamic vinegar, and toss to coat. Serve on a bed of quinoa pilaf.
Chard: 170 cal per serving, 60cal from fat, 6g fat, 300mg sodium, 370mg potassium, 26g carbs, 6g fiber, 10g sugars, 5g protein
Quinoa pilaf: 189 cal per 2/3 cup, 35 cal from fat, 4g fat, 150mg sodium, 45mg potassium, 29g carbs, 3g fiber, 5g protein