Thursday, June 19, 2014

Off-Topic with Tammy

Good Morning! One of my goals this summer is to try new recipes with new vegetables. I've always liked veggies, but after 42 years of cooking frozen veggies in the microwave and adding salt, pepper and butter, I'm on a mission to make vegetables the best thing about dinner! On a friend's recommendation, I grew some Swiss Chard for the first time last summer. I'd never had it before, but she swore that it was good and easy to grow. As a novice gardener, that was enough to encourage me to give it a go. Well, she was half right; it was easy to grow, and I was swimming in Swiss Chard, along with lettuce and spinach. But, it was not nearly as good as my lettuce and spinach (strong flavor), and I knew I wasn't likely to eat it in a salad when I had these other lovely greens also available to me. So, what was I going to do with all of this chard?

In walks Lori. While we were both working at the gardens one afternoon, she told me how her family eats chard, and that they love it and eagerly wait for every new cutting of chard to make this tasty dish. So, I immediately went home and whipped it up, and IT WAS AMAZING! Consequently, this year, like Lori, I have been eagerly waiting for my chard to be ready so I can make this dish again. We had it two nights ago, I ate the leftovers for lunch yesterday, and we're having it again this weekend. I think I could eat it every day for two weeks straight, but the fam probably wouldn't go for that, so I'm spreading it out every few days and enjoying this year's harvest with an exceedingly happy heart.

So, if you're looking for a delicious way to feature a new and good-for-you vegetable, give Swiss Chard and Lori's SWISS CHARD BACON PASTA TOSS a try. It's a super-fast dinner that will make you want to grow your own crop of chard next summer!

6-7 pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1-lb. bowtie pasta
15-oz. can white beans (S&W brand preferred)
Swiss Chard (big colander full of leaves), washed and torn into bite sized pieces)
Grated Parmesan Cheese

Cook pasta. Fry bacon in a skillet. When almost crispy, add Swiss chard, stirring until all chard is wilted and bacon is crispy. Add canned beans ( DON'T DRAIN). When pasta is al dente, drain and place in a serving bowl. Pour bacon/chard mixture over pasta and toss. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

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