Tuesday, June 8, 2010

move over basil, hello chard!

Danielle, one of the wonderful CV Farm interns, passed along this recipe. I haven't tried it yet but it sounds amazing.... so much so that I think it deserves its own post (other week one recipe suggestions posted below). What a tasty and creative use for chard, which members will be receiving all spring. And while it is both versatile and delightful, it's never too early to get creative. This is also a great way to preserve it.

Swiss Chard and Toasted Pecan Pesto
Use chard in place of basil and toasted pecans in place of the toasted pine nuts. All other ingredients remain the same.
4 cups packed fresh Swiss Chard leaves, torn
1/4 cup plus 3 Tablespoons Extra virgin Olive Oil
1/2 cup of Toasted Pecans, chopped
2 large Garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup grated Parmagiano Cheese
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Splash of Lemon Juice, optional
Either use a mortar and pestle and grind all the ingredients together or use a blender/food processor and puree all the ingredients until a paste forms. Some folks like a chunkier pesto while others like a more smooth pesto consistency. Use a little more liquid (this is where the lemon juice works well) and blend longer for the smoother version. This particular pesto is excellent smeared on a baguette with fresh goat cheese and topped with sprouts. It is also fantastic tossed with pasta. I use it on sandwiches, in salad dressings and even on grilled meats. By far, a crowd pleaser and my favorite summertime pesto.

Note: Pesto may be stored in the freezer. Just portion into an ice cube tray and freeze. Once frozen solid, pop out the cubes and place in a freezer bag. Also, just like regular pesto, this pesto will blacken (oxidize) once exposed to air. To prevent this, top off your pesto with olive oil before recapping to seal out the air. Always store your pesto in the refrigerator, unless you freeze it.

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