Sunday, August 2, 2009

Swiss Chard Pastries and Garlic Curl Pesto

One of the things I missed most while on bed rest was the ability to cook! With all of the awesome vegetables coming in every week, I was disappointed that so many recipes never got made. 

One of those was a recipe for "Swiss Chard Empanadas" that came in our CSA's newsletter. I was really excited to try to make them, but they seemed kind of labor intensive. Yesterday, though, with the baby asleep and about an hour on my hands, I went to work. I didn't actually use the recipe in the newsletter but kind of put my own spin on it.

Swiss Chard Pastries
1 package refrigerated pie crusts (2 to a pack)
1 bunch swiss chard, separated into leaves and stems
1 onion
3 T garlic curl pesto (recipe below)
2 T Harissa (pre-made--I got mine at the Reston Farmer's Market but it is available elsewhere)
cooking spray
sprinkle of salt
1/4 cup (give or take) of grated parmesean cheese

Clean the swiss chard really well. Dice onions and chop the chard stems. Break the chard leaves into small pieces. Saute onion and chard stems in some cooking spray with a small amount of salt. When the onion begins to soften, add the chard leaves. When they start to wilt, add the garlic curl pesto and Harissa and mix well. Continue cooking until all of the leaves are wilted down and cooked. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. 

Remove from refrigerator and add the cheese.

Take your 2 pie crusts and cut them into 6 even pieces each (12 total). Fill pastries by placing a spoon full of mix onto each crust, folding them over, and crimping them shut. Bake on a stone or cookie sheet at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until they begin to brown.

These are delicious hot or at room temperature (as we discovered when I was putting them away and broke one and decided to just eat it).  If you don't have the energy or materials to make garlic curl pesto, just add some ground almonds and pressed garlic to the mix. 

Garlic Curl Pesto
This one is straight from the farm newsletter, with a small change

1 bunch of garlic curls (also called scapes)
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup parmesean cheese

Process in a food processor. Use as a topping on pasta, as a spread for garlic bread, or in recipes.

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