Wednesday, May 23, 2012

for the refined palate

Our school is lucky enough to have a small school garden! Thanks to some amazingly generous donors, a committed teacher, and helpful students, we have the freshest veggies and coolest plants growing right on our campus.

It's really helpful for my lil kiddos to see things like broccoli growing to understand that we eat the "flower" part of it. I kill every plant that I bring home, so I do not even try to help, but sometimes I'll just walk in to see what they're growing.  This week, I walked in while the teacher and the kids were working and scored some amazing swiss chard!


I've tried it once at the Bratchers, but I have never cooked it myself.  Since I had some fresh, grown-with-student-love-swiss-chard, I decided to give it a try.  I looked online for recipes and couldn't really decide on one and as always, I didn't have all the ingredients listed in one, so I just blended two together. I married this one here and this one here.

The results were pretty tasty.  The swiss chard was yummy but another added ingredient made it even tastier - anchovies!


Here's my blended recipe of the previously linked recipes.

1 tbsn olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 can anchovies - about 8 fillets
4 swiss chard leaves, stems discarded, leaves chopped
1 tspn red chili flakes (I love spicy, so I just dumped in a bunch)
1 can diced tomatoes with juices (preferably a brand that does not add salt, like this one here)
1/2 bag of Trader Joe whole wheat fusilli pasta
* Salt and pepper to taste. Anchovies are pretty salty so you may not need any extra salt.

1.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil and start cooking the pasta according to the package directions.
2.  Sauté the onions in the olive oil until soft.
3.  Add in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4.  Add the anchovies.  (I bought the Ralph's brand and the fillets were in olive oil, so I just pulled out the fillets and discarded the oil). Stir with onions and garlic until the anchovies have melted away.
5.  If you want, throw in the red chili peppers now. If not, just add in the swiss chard by the handful.  It'll wilt quickly like spinach.
6.  Add the can of tomatoes, juice and all. Cook until tomatoes are heated up, about a minute.
7.  Throw in the cooked pasta and mix together.

Sprinkle some parmesan cheese on top and some tabasco and you're good to go!

I didn't tell John what was in it and just kept on asking, "Do you like it?" I don't know why I didn't just tell him right off the bat, this guy eats anything and everything. I just wanted to see if his self professed "god-like palate" could pick it up.  After I told him what the little secret ingredient was, he said, "Yes. There is a subtle hint of anchovy. It has a very refined flavor." WHAT THE HECK?! If you know my Johnny, you know how ridiculous this sounds coming from him.  He usually lets me know it's good by grunting.

I don't know if it's a refined flavor but I do know that anchovies get a bad rap. It doesn't smell that funky and it tastes great!  Swiss chard and anchovies are yummy together!  I promise, give it a try!


  1. wow! is that first picture real? those are huuuuuuuuuuge! omg, how fun! I didn't know Trader Joe's had whole wheat fusili! (making mental note). never tried swiss chard either, but looks delicious! and p.s. love the picture of you in your mother's day post- you are so pretty! :)

  2. OMG that swiss chard looks amazing. i wantttt. it is so cool how you guys have a school garden. legit! the hongs miss the parks! :)