This is one of my absolute FAVORITE dishes! I would eat it every day. 🙂 It is the perfect dish to make when I get smaller bunches of greens in my CSA box because it is wonderful with any combination of Swiss chard, spinach and kale (or any other greens). The nutty browned butter is the standout flavor, with the greens, toasted walnuts, plumped up golden raisins, and salty hard cheese only making the dish more fabulous. I serve it over whole wheat spaghetti- it would be GREAT with fresh pasta.
This dish was adapted from one of my favorite cookbooks, Field of Greens: New Vegetarian Recipes from the Celebrated Greens Restaurant by Annie Somerville. I have used Swiss chard and spinach which have relatively equivalent cooking times, but if kale (or cabbage) is being used it needs to be sautéed 2-3 minutes with the onions before adding the other greens because it is more slow cooking. Mmmmm…..
Serves: 2 to 4
- 1/3 cup brown butter
- 3 T golden raisins
- 1 bunch red or green Swiss chard (or mixed with spinach and kale or other greens), about 8 cups packed leaves
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/2 medium-size red onion, thinly sliced, about 1 cup
- salt and pepper
- 5-6 garlic cloves, finely chopped or sliced
- 1/2 pound whole wheat spaghetti, or fresh fettuccine
- 1/3 cup walnut pieces, toasted
- grated Parmesan cheese, or other salty hard cheese
- Make the brown butter: Melt 5 T unsalted butter in a small saucepan over low heat. As the butter gently simmers, the butter and fat and milk solids will separate from each other. The solids will settle to the bottom of the pan, coloring the butter as it cooks. When it turns a rich amber color, in about 8 to 10 minutes, remove from heat. Line a fine-mesh strainer with a paper towel or cheese-cloth and pour the butter through it, straining out the solids. Keep it warm over low heat.
- Set a large pot of water on the stove to boil. Plump the currants and golden raisins in a small bowl covered with 1/4 cup hot water. Trim the stems from the chard and slice across the leaves to make 2-inch-wide ribbons.
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan; add the onion, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a few pinches of pepper. Sauté over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until the onion softens and begins to release its juices. (If using kale, add to the onions after 2 minutes.) Add the garlic, chard, and 1/4 tsp salt. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes, until the chard is just barely tender, then reduce the heat to low.
- Meanwhile, toast the walnuts in a 400 degree oven for approximately 2 to 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Set aside.
- When the water boils, add 1 teaspoon of salt. Add the pasta to the pot, timing it to finish cooking with the chard. (The chard should be very tender but not overcooked when the pasta is done.)
- When the pasta is just tender, drain it immediately in a colander, shake off excess water, and add it to the onions and chard, along with the plumped fruit, walnuts, and brown butter. Toss together and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan.