Friday, May 15, 2009

Recipe: Rainbow Chard & Roasted Beet Fettuccine

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 entrĂ©e.

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!)

10 oz. whole wheat fettuccine
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!


  1. I made a cold pasta beet salad and my pasta was a neon pink from the beets. How'd you keep yours from turning bright pink..your pasta that is?

  2. I made this pasta last night and it was delicious! Thank you!
    I did have ano comment though: the recipe calls for onion and lemon juice but the cooking instructions don't mention either onion or lemon juice. Am i not reading something? I just sauteed the onion with the garlic and added the lemon juice at the end. How did you do it?

    Thanks again!

  3. You're right! I forgot to mention the lemon juice is part of the dressing. Thank goodness I have you fine readers to proof read for me, lol. The onion is listed in the cooking instructions, though. You add them right before the chard stems. Glad you liked the dish! :)

    Mel, I had pink pasta too! I found that the best way to get around that was to add the beets at the very end, though having them chilled also helps in the staining process.

  4. I made this last night. (Had just fixed Hubby a bowl of mac & cheese, wanted something a little healthier for myself.) I couldn't remember the recipe; all I remembered was chard, noodles, and beets. I chunked the beets, boiled them, then sauteed them in butter while the chard & noodles cooked (in the same pot; no sense in wasting water or fuel!) Then I drained the noodles & chard and stirred in the beets. Got interesting stains on the edges of the noodles -- very pretty! No sauce, just a sprinkle of Mediterranean spiced sea salt over the whole shebang.
    I polished off the entire bowl. :P

  5. Made this for the family last night - and it went down really well, wouldn't have thought of putting chard and beets with pasta - but it was great!! I will definetley make this again - Thanks

  6. Just made this after receiving beets and rainbow chard in my co-op veggie purchase this morning (you never know what you'll get in the co-op, but you know it'll be good!) I made a couple substitutions for what I had on hand- regular linguine instead of WW fettuccine; white onion instead of red; lime pepper instead of lemon pepper; and ground yellow mustard instead of Dijon. I think it would have been better with the red onion and dijon, but I think it was tasty overall! Thanks for a "keeper" recipe!

  7. @emily - I just googled this because I too received rainbow chard and beets in a box last night. Never cooked 'em before. I'll see how this goes down with the 5 yr-old and 8 yr-old ... maybe they'll laugh at the pink noooooodles.

  8. i LOVE beets and chard! i am so trying this!

  9. I just picked up some rainbow chard at the farmer's market and found this through a google search. It was delicious!!! I used a spicy stone ground dijon and the extra kick was awesome! Also, I used the prepared beets from Trader Joe's and added mushrooms. Yum! Thanks for the great recipe!

  10. This was AWESOME -- got beets and rainbow chard in CSA share today. Mom, dad, kids and Grandma all loved it!

  11. Just made this recipe again. Perfect for CSA veggie box. I substituted beet greens for chard and worked great. I forgot again about the onions and lemon and had to google this to find out where they belong again. Sadly, my 2-year-old was not a fan. Oh well, more for Mommy and Daddy.



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