So you know how I made it one of my PGEW goals to be more experimental with my ingredient choices? I think that frequent trips to the farmer’s market this summer will definitely help me achieve that goal. My trip last Sunday alone resulted in a few items that I’ve eaten and enjoyed but not necessarily cooked with, like the enormous and gorgeous bunch of rainbow chard I ended up buying. Though it’s pretty much the same as regular chard, I haven’t actually played around with it, so I figured this would be a good time to do so. I had also scored a giant beet (and I mean giant: the thing was about 6” in diameter!) that would be great roasted, and some fresh garlic with the shoots still attached. I had some nice whole-wheat pasta at home and thought these veggies would go with it nicely to create a healthy, delicious entrée.
Though it’s perfectly okay to boil your beets for this, roasting them is just as easy and offers a slightly more distinct flavor that I’m rather fond of. Just be sure to give yourself a little extra time for the roasting process when you’re planning your meal prep time. The rest of the recipe is quick to prepare, even if it looks like there are a lot of steps. If you can’t find rainbow chard, regular chard works just as well. I would have liked to prepare this with some sort of crumbled cheese like goat cheese or feta (or goat’s milk feta, even betta!), but since payday still eludes me and I wanted to add a little something extra at the end, I whipped up a quick Dijon sauce-slash-dressing to drizzle on top of the pasta at the end. Not only does it add even more color to this already lovely dish, but the sharpness of the Dijon mustard also complements the sweetness of the beets & chard beautifully. If you’re not a fan of Dijon, I’m sure this would also taste great with an extra drizzle of olive oil and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Lastly, don’t worry if your fettuccine turns a little pink! Trust me, mine did in the worst way at first, so unfortunately I wasn’t able to get the freshest shot of the finished dish. But that’s just what happens when beets are tossed in with other things, I guess. It’s still a lovely-looking dish, though! If you want to add the beets at the end to avoid this problem for presentation purposes, that’s perfectly fine, too. Otherwise, enjoy this interesting little dish that’s chock full of good-for-you things like folate, fiber, vitamins & C, potassium, and the added bonus of tasting really good.
PS – Just had this as a cold leftover for lunch, having tossed some extra dressing on top before leaving home, and oh my gosh! This is even better cold!
Rainbow Chard & Roasted Beet Fettuccine (serves 4-6; total cost per serving: $1.50 – $2.25!)
3 medium beets
1 large bunch of rainbow or Swiss chard
1 head of fresh garlic
½ medium red onion
4 T olive oil, divided
1 t sea salt, divided
1 t lemon pepper, divided
Freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
3 T stone-ground Dijon mustard (regular Dijon works, too)
2 T white wine vinegar
1 T honey
Preheat oven to 425°. Wash the beets thoroughly and remove any greens. Pat dry and individually wrap each beet in foil. Place in the center of the oven rack and roast for about 1 to 1 ½ hours, or until beets are tender.
In the meantime, wash the chard thoroughly and separate the stems from the leaves. Spin dry the leaves in a salad spinner so they’re nice & crisp, and chop into 1” pieces. Chop the stems into ¾” pieces and place in a separate bowl. Next, slice the onions into 1” pieces and set aside, then coarsely chop the garlic (yes, the whole thing!), also setting it aside in a separate bowl. Prepare the Dijon dressing by combining the Dijon mustard, honey, and vinegar in a bowl & whisking together well. Cover & set aside.
When the beets are finished roasting, set aside to cool before peeling. Add several cups of water to a large pot, salt well, and heat until it reaches a rolling boil. Add the fettuccine and cook for about 10-12 minutes, or until pasta is al dente. In the meantime, heat 2 T olive oil in a skillet and add half of the chopped garlic. Cook the garlic over medium heat until it just begins to brown and become fragrant. Add the chard stems, season with half the salt & lemon pepper, and stir fry for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook covered for another 2-3 minutes, or until the stems are slightly tender. In a separate skillet heat the rest of the olive oil and cook the garlic in the same manner, adding the chopped chard leaves when the garlic begins to brown. Stir fry the leaves quickly, just about 1 minute, seasoning with the remaining salt & lemon pepper. Remove from heat immediately.
Peel the beets under cool running water and cut away any remaining tough parts. Chop into 1” cubes. Add the cooked chard stems & leaves and all the garlic to the drained fettuccine and toss together gently (you may want to add a little bit of olive oil to the pasta to prevent it from sticking together). Add the beets and toss together, or as mentioned above, add them to the pasta at the end. Spoon onto a couple of plates, drizzle generously with the Dijon dressing, and enjoy!