While I’m sowing spinach, carrots and beets and planting shallots anywhere I see an empty space in the garden, what we are harvesting are vegetables sown what seems like a lifetime ago. The kale and the chard that we’d been picking for months and which started growing with renewed vigour now that the sun occasionally makes an appearance. One last hurrah before they run to seed. But by then, the new sowings of chard should be almost ready.
If you have grown tired of these dependable winter vegetables by now, I have a recipe to cure your fatigue.
I’ve been making it pretty much throughout the fall and winter, right up till now and as nobody has rebelled yet, you should take my word that it’s delicious. This dish is where my desire to eat greens intersects with my children’s desire to eat pasta. It is quite simple and quick, too. You sauté the greens, add some lovely plumped up raisins, coat the whole thing with brown butter (yay!) and scatter walnuts on top – everybody happy!
Tagliatelle with chard, kale, currants, walnuts and brown butter
From Annie Somerville: Fields of Greens
I use what I pick, chard and/or kale, in the proportions available. Spinach can also be used.
75 g (1/3 cup) butter
1 tbsp dried currants
2 tbsp golden raisins
A generous bunch of greens (chard, kale, spinach)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
250 g (about ½ pound) fresh tagliatelle or fettucine
Walnuts (about 1/3 cup), roughly chopped
Parmesan cheese, grated
First, make the brown butter: cook the butter in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan, until nutty brown and smelling delicious. Stir often to encourage an even browning. Keep warm.
Put the currants and raisins in a small bowl and cover with 60 ml (1/4 cup) boiling water. Leave to plump up. Remove the stems of chard and kale, stack the leaves and slice them in thick ribbons.
In a large pot, bring water to boil. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large pan and add the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly, until the onions soften. Add the garlic and the greens, plus ½ teaspoon salt. Sauté for about 5 to 10 minutes, until almost tender (the kale needs a bit longer than the chard). Reduce the heat.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and add salt. When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and add to the sautéed greens, together with the plumped dried fruit and brown butter. Toss together so that the butter coats everything. Season to taste. Serve with a scattering of walnuts and freshly grated Parmesan.
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