Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Bathe Your Soul

One of my favorite things to eat is sole poached in butter. Which got me to thinking the other day as I savored this decadent meal, what if I could poach my soul in butter? How good would that feel?

I'm going to work on that recipe.

In the meantime, I try to find recipes that are so satisfying they make my soul feel as if it's been bathed in butter. And you don't need actual butter to do that. You just need to feel happy about what you're eating.

Tonight I surprised myself with a simple recipe that I only tried because I didn't know what to do with Swiss chard. I never buy Swiss chard, I never buy tortellini, I never buy pine nuts, and I don't much like raisins, but because of an organic vegetable box delivery and a recipe that came with it, I ended up putting all of those things on a plate together. And it was delicious.

But let's not forget the secret ingredient that pulled it all together - garlic! A fine mince of garlic sauteed in oil coats the greens and nuts. The golden raisins, plumped in water and then added to the pan add rich sweetness to the bitter greens. Throw it on top of cheese tortellini, salty and creamy, and you have every texture and every flavor needed to bathe your soul in happiness. And you feel good because you don't even notice you're eating vegetables!

Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts (Door to Door Organics)

Yield: 4 servings

  • 3 tbs pine nuts
  • 2 lbs Swiss chard
  • 3 tbs raisins
  • tortellini (optional) - for four servings
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste (if tortellini is very salty, then no added salt is needed)

Place raisins in a bowl and cover with hot water for 10 minutes, drain.
Meanwhile, bring well salted water to a boil in a large pot and add the chard. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes and transfer to a bowl of ice water. After a few minutes, remove the chard and squeeze out water. Remove stems and coarsely chop.
Cook tortellini (if using) according to package directions.
Heat oil on medium in a nonstick skillet. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring until they begin to lightly brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook briefly, stirring as you go. Add the chopped greens and raisins and stir together until they are well coated and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with tortellini or as a side dish

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