Eat Your Bitter Greens
Swiss chard, dandelion greens and kale. All new to me. I didn't grow up with these bitter greens. My loss.
I remember my girlfriend's Nonna (grandmother from Italy) stopping on the side of the road, getting out of the car to pick wild dandelion greens. What the heck was she going to do with them?
Make a dandelion pie, what else?
I have learned to love these greens, they are pretty and healthy and you can do a lot with them.
Here, I toss them with garlic and top them with ricotta salata (a dried ricotta cheese) and serve over pasta.
Simple, yet special. I think of my friend's nonna every time I make this.
Pasta w/ Swiss Chard & Ricotta Salata:
1/2 lb. of dried pasta
1 large bunch of Swiss Chard, washed
3 garlic cloves, chopped
salt & pepper
hot pepper flakes
3/4 cup pasta water
1/4 cup ricotta salata (this is a dry cheese that resembles feta)
Boil pasta as per directions in salted water (don't forget to save 3/4 cup of the starchy water).
Blanch the Swiss chard for about 6 minutes in boiling water. Drain and wipe out the skillet. Transfer the wilted greens to a cutting board and chop.
In the same skillet you blanched the chard in, heat olive oil and add the garlic and saute on medium heat for about a minute. Add the greens and season liberally with salt and pepper. Add a dash of hot pepper flakes.
When the pasta is done, add the pasta and the reserved water to the skillet w/ the greens and spoon into bowls.
Top with shredded ricotta salata cheese and drizzle with good olive oil (which I did after I took the photo!). Serve immediately.
Eat your bitter greens and enjoy!
And my Italian grandma (never called her Nonna, don't know why)
would pick dandelion greens for a salad. Absolutely delicious!!!
Those were the days when you could pick them yourself with no worries about fertilizer or pesticide.
Henry turns his knows up to not much these days......except for mushrooms and stinky cheeses. He is entitled to despise 2 things only.
He has totally turned into a good eater.
I make this dish all the time! But have to say, I've never even heard of dried ricotta - must look for it. I top mine with fresh mozzarella or asiago shavings.... either way it's YUM!
PS My hubby still "tries" to like mushrooms, but they are number one on his don't like list ;o)