Wondering what to do with Swiss chard? It’s one of the healthiest vegetables out there and bountiful at the grocery store and at farmers markets almost year-round. I’m always looking for new, simple recipes that use this superfood. This one is wonderful – it’s basically a Swiss chard pesto that would be great on orecchiette or penne pasta. If you double the recipe, the pesto would freeze well for future dinners. Enjoy!
Recipe from Mario Batali; featured on the Today Show.
Orecchiette with Swiss chard and Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small white onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 3 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
- 1 pound Swiss chard, trimmed and sliced 1/4 inch thick
- Maldon or other flaky sea salt
- Coarsely ground black pepper
- Kosher salt
- 1 pound orecchiette
- 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus extra for serving
Combine the oil, onion, garlic, and chard in a large pot and cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the onion and chard are beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Season well with Maldon salt, add 1/4 cup water, cover, reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chard is very tender, about 20 minutes. Season with pepper and remove from the heat. Place ingredients into food processor and finely chop. Set aside in large bowl.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Drop in the pasta and cook until just al dente.
Drain the pasta, reserving about 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the chard ragu and stir and toss over medium heat until the pasta is well coated (add a splash or two more of the reserved pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce). Stir in the cheese.
Transfer the pasta to a serving bowl and serve with additional grated Parmigiano on the side.
I’ve made this recipe a few times and it’s always a hit (even with the kids)! If you love artichokes (um, yeah!) and olives (yeah!), and you’re looking for something new to do with chicken (please!), then try this meal. I serve it with crusty bread (rustic sourdough loaf) which is great for soaking up any excess liquid. I hope you love this!
Yield: Makes 4 servings
Total Time: about an hour
- 8 organic boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 11/2 pounds), trimmed of excess fat
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
- Generous pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 cinnamon stick, or 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups organic chicken broth
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed, and mixed with a spritz of lemon juice and a pinch of salt
- 8 thawed frozen or jarred artichoke hearts, quartered
- 2/3 cup whole pitted green olives, such as Picholine or Manzanilla
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or cilantro
Pat the chicken dry and season salt and pepper. Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven or heavy soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the chicken, working in batches if necessary, and cook until well browned on each side, about 3-4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
Decrease the heat to medium. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté until soft and slightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, coriander, red pepper flakes, cinnamon stick, and bay leaf and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Pour in 1/4 cup of the broth to deglaze the pot, stirring to loosen any bits stuck to the pot. Stir in a pinch of salt and cook until the liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the remaining 1 3/4 cups of broth, the lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice. Decrease the heat to medium-low, add back the chicken thighs, and cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
Add the chickpeas, artichoke hearts, and olives and stir gently to combine. Increase the heat to medium-high and simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes. Check largest chicken thigh with a digital thermometer to make sure it is cooked through to at least 170 degrees in the center. Stir in the remaining tablespoon of lemon juice. Taste; you will likely want to add another squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Garnish with the mint or cilantro.