While I love farmer’s markets, I much prefer growing as much of my own food as I can. When we lived in the townhouse complex where there wasn’t any room to garden, I rented a garden plot from the city (a fair distance away from where we lived). Such is my passion for gardening and especially having control how my food is grown. One of the main requirements when we were searching for the house we now call home, was that the real estate agent had to find a place where there was room for me to play in the dirt.
While our backyard doesn’t allow for a massive garden, there’s enough space for me to have some fun growing things which I put to use in the kitchen. Here’s a recipe using vibrant Swiss Chard, cherry tomatoes bursting with sweetness and with a gentle kick from white habaneros I grew this season. All organically grown by my hands!
Note: If doing this recipe gluten free or vegan, be sure to use the right type of pasta.
6-8 swiss chard leaves
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 small white habanero peppers (optional – or pepper flakes)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
pinch nutmeg – optional
8 cherry tomatoes
4-6 cups cooked pasta
- trim and wash the Swiss Chard to remove dirt and blemishes
- put the pasta to cook in salted boiling water (cook to your liking)
- heat the olive oil on a medium flame
- add the diced garlic and cook on a very low heat for 3 minutes
- add the whole habanero peppers or a pinch of dried pepper flakes (don’t break the habanero pepper)
- pile the cleaned Swiss Chard and cut into ribbons (include the stems)
- add the chopped Swiss Chard to the pot and toss well – raise the heat to medium low (feel free to use more Swiss Chard if you want)
- chop the tomatoes and add them to the pot (if your tomatoes are tart you can add a 1/2 teaspoon of brown sugar)
- add the black pepper, salt and a pinch of nutmeg (optional) and mix well
- cook for a couple mins
- by now the pasta should be fully cooked – drain and add to the pot – toss well
- feel free to add some grated cheese (according to your liking/diet requirements)
- remember to remove the habanero peppers before serving
I do hope you give this recipe a try and I encourage you to be a bit creative and add anything you may have growing in your garden. I’m not a huge fan of basil or I’d add some in here and diced bell peppers also works well.