Linguini with Bacon and Swiss Chard – Grow. Eat. $ave.

by Erin, The $5 Dinner Mom on July 3, 2010

Until recently, I’d never consumed Swiss chard.  What a shame!

It was really quite tasty and it will definitely be growing in my garden next year!!

I picked up some Swiss Chard at the farmer’s market for $3 for a huge bunch. While I could have just used the Romaine or Bibb I have in my garden, I wanted to “expand my horizons” and try a new “green.” So Swiss Chard it is!

Swiss Chard comes in a variety of colors from white to yellow to a deep magenta color. It is loaded with essential nutrients like Vitamin A, C, K, magnesium, potassium and iron. It’s a real nutrient powerhouse!

It’s smell reminds me a lot of spinach, as did the way it cooked. And what does spinach go perfectly with…bacon! So I thought I’d do pasta with bacon and Swiss Chard.

(Oh, and fresh spinach from the garden can easily be substituted into this pasta!)

Linguini with Swiss Chard and Bacon

Ingredients

3/4 lb of linguini pasta ($.69) On sale for $.92 per 1 lb box
about 1/2 bunch Swiss chard ($1.50) or free from the garden!
1/2 cup red onion, chopped ($.20)
8 slices turkey bacon ($.50) Bought on sale with coupon here (and yes it has been in the freezer.)
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

1. Cook the bacon in a skillet. Cook the pasta in a saucepan. You’ll need to reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water before draining.

2. Set aside to drain on paper towel.  Then crumble (or cut with a knife.)

3. Rinse and pat dry the swiss chard. Chop off the stems. Dice a few of them to toss with the leaves after you chop them.  It makes it look pretty!

4. Set a few Swiss chard leaves together.

5. Roll the leaves up.  Like you’re rolling a cigar!

6. Slice into circles.

7. Separate the circles and run a knife lengthwise a few times to cut the leaves down a little more.

8. Toss the cut Swiss chard leaves with the diced stems. See, colorful!

9. Give fussy baby a chewable kitchen utensil.  (I’m often asked what I do with Tyler when I’m cooking, and here is the answer!  No really, I try to do as much prep work as I can while he is napping, but if I don’t get around to it, I let him chew on my plastic spatulas!)

10. Chop the red onion.

11.  In the same skillet that you cooked the bacon…saute the red onion in the bacon grease.

12. Once the red onion becomes translucent, add the cut Swiss chard and saute for a few minutes.

13. The chard will begin to wilt as it cooks.

14. Once it has shrunk down, it will look like this.  Cooks like spinach!

15. The stovetop.  Bacon is cooked. Pasta is finishing up as the chard sautes.

16. Assemble it all together. Toss the crumbled bacon, sauteed Swiss chard, linguini and pasta water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

17. Serve Linguini with Bacon and Swiss Chard.

Cost $2.89

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Now you don’t have to be afraid of Swiss chard when you see it at the farmer’s market, or if you are debating whether or not to add it to your garden in the future.

If you’d like to learn more about Square Foot Gardening, please check out the Square Foot Gardening books by Mel Bartholemew.

Do you have a favorite recipe that calls for lettuce or any of greens that are growing in your garden?!?  Do share…

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Kristia@Family Balance Sheet July 3, 2010 at 7:38 am

I don’t grow swiss chard either, but we get it through our CSA. I just got a bunch this week and I now know what I am going to do with it. This looks delicious.

Thanks for the carnival

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Mary W July 3, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Swiss chard is easy to grow from seed. Apparently can live through frost and even snow (since it never gets that cold at my so cal house I can’t personally guarantee that). In cooked things I like better than spinach. Small tender leaves can also be used raw in salads.

If you grow different colors it looks pretty in a clear vase as a substitute for flowers.

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Karen July 3, 2010 at 11:19 pm

wow, your little man has VERY long eye lashes….

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The Prudent Homemaker July 3, 2010 at 11:51 pm

Mary’s right about the frost and snow. I plant chardin the fall here. A light frost and a rare snow didn’t do anything to it, and I know those who have grown it under several feet of snow without a problem. Chard grows all year round here, even in the heat of summer at 116º outside. It’s fairly expensive at the grocery store, but really easy to grow.

I never ate swiss chard while living in Switzerland, though :) It took moving to Las Vegas to hear of it, try it, and love it! And now I grow it here!

I’ve made a meal with it similar to yours before (I added a cream sauce and some home-grown sun-dried tomatoes). I haven’t trid the baby spatula trick while cooking, though! I’ll have to try that one in a few more months when the baby gets old enough to tire of the baby toys.

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Sarah (Frontier Kitchen) July 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm

Whoops. I meant to put my link on the $5 Challenge…

I really need to give Swiss Chard a try sometime. It’s one of those things I never cook simply because it scares me. :)

Reply

sally April 15, 2012 at 11:02 am

Im going to try this today. I harvested my chard, all three colors yesterday..and will transplant them to near the corner compost to make room for summer veggies. TY for recipe.

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