Chard Art Orzo

Monday I talked about our CSA and looking forward to getting veggies I might have otherwise not purchased. We are certainly going to be pushing our creativity and the limits of our vegetable consumption this season because in addition to our CSA one of the perks of my new day-job is that I get to bring home leftover veggies. Not half bad, eh?

Today, I wanted to talk about one of those new-to-me veggies—rainbow chard. I’d certainly heard of it but never cooked with it, and if my students’ reactions when introduced to it are any indication, neither had they. I figured it would be a good chance to experiment. So what did we discover? Like lots of dark, leafy greens, it wilts nicely and, as a bonus, the stem is actually pretty tasty too. {It tastes a lot like celery.} It’s a bit sturdier than spinach, so it retains a nice chew when cooked down and is a great textural element in a dish. Also like its dark leafy green fellows, it packs a nutritional punch in terms of it’s vitamin A and K content as well as being a good source of iron and magnesium. It’s a good thing to eat.

I had been thinking about developing a healthy-ish recipe for a quick, spinach artichoke type pasta for a while now because I mean, who doesn’t like spinach artichoke dip? The chard though. The chard really made everything connect for me. {The bacon doesn’t hurt either.} Each ingredient holds it’s own working together to subtly punch you in the mouth with flavor.

Chard Art Orzo from Kiwi and Peach

Chard Art Orzo

{serves two}

½ cup orzo
1 piece thick cut bacon
9-10 stems of rainbow chard, washed
1 clove garlic
juice from ½ of a lemon {or 1 tsp of chopped preserved lemon}
dash of salt and pepper
2 oz cream cheese
2 tbsp sour cream
¼ cup almond milk
5 ounces artichoke hearts
dash of red pepper flakes

Boil your jug and start heating up your frying pan or skillet on medium.

Get your orzo cooking in a pot with plenty of well salted, boiling water on medium high heat. If this is your first time with orzo, don’t worry about it. It’s just like cooking other pastas. Make sure your water is well salted and set your timer for about 10 minutes. When it’s finished, drain it and sit it to the side.

After you get the orzo started, cut your slice of bacon into small strips and pop them in the skillet. While the bacon is rendering, de-stem your chard and tear {or chop} it into 2 or 3 inch pieces. Peel the garlic and either mince it or put it in your garlic press.

Add the garlic to the skillet and stir. Give it about 30 seconds and then add the chopped chard, lemon juice, and a dash of salt and pepper. Stir well and let that cook down for about 3 minutes. Add the cream cheese, sour cream, and soy creme. Keep stirring it around until it melts and is completely incorporated into the chard.

Chop the artichoke hearts into quarters and toss them into the skillet along with the cooked orzo. Sprinkle the whole thing with red pepper flakes and mix well.

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3 thoughts on “Chard Art Orzo

  1. Oooh – that looks wonderful – great combo!

    I like to use chard as a hamburger “bun”. I kind of remove any tough rib (it can be stir fried), fold the leaf in half so there is double leaf around the burger. You can put bacon and cheese on that and not feel too bad about your dinner either.

  2. Oh…here is another thing as I looked at the recipe. Purely personal preference…I sub goat cheese for cream cheese in all recipes now and greek yogurt for sour cream. It works for me. I love goat cheese …cream cheese doesn’t taste that good to me anymore. I do like Daisy sour cream but I always have greek yogurt so one less thing to keep on hand.

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