Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Swiss Chard, Cannellini Bean and Barley Stew

Today there's a lot to choose from in the Taste Section of the paper. It's titled Super-Saver Specials.
It mentions meals that don't skimp on flavor, meals that are affordable, meals prepared on a budget. It's about the strategy for economical meals. There were savory recipes and sweet recipes.

 I tend to be attracted to the sweet recipes before savory. There are recipes for a Fritatta, Swiss Chard, Cannellini Bean and Barley Stew ( I like this one). There's Linguine with Spicy Lentil Sauce, it's interesting too. They are vegetarian and healthy!

I wasn't quite sure which one I would choose to blog about this morning and then I saw Crustless Coconut Pie with Jamaican Rum Sauce. It wasn't part of the "watch your dining dollars" recipes. It was a story titled " Coconut Pie Quest" by Alicia Ross with Kitchen Scoop.
I was about to post the recipe and then I continued to read the story about the pie. It began with a brief description of the pie and then she began talking about the restaurant that influenced her to research the recipe. It was then that I remembered I had already posted a story about the restaurant and the recipe.  In April ,I told my story about having dinner with my wife, son and his family at Bonefish Grill.
I was so impressed with the pie, that I researched it , found the recipe and it's history and blogged about it. So if you're interested , you can search it on my blog under Jamaican Coconut Pie with Warm Rum Sauce.

I've decided to post the following recipe today:

Swiss Chard, Cannellini Bean and Barley Stew:

I chose this recipe for a couple of reasons. It's vegetarian and I've never used Swiss Chard in a recipe.
Whenever I'm in the produce section of a grocery store or at the farmer's market and I see Swiss Chard, I'm tempted to buy it. I've read stories about how healthy it is, but I've never looked for a recipe that uses it. I'm not sure why...... maybe it's because I know that none of our children or grand children would eat it. I think my wife might like it. After all she did grow up on a farm and maybe her mother grew it in their  garden. I'll get back on that later.

I'll make this one when the weather begins to cool.

1 pound of Swiss Chard, washed thoroughly
1/2 C barley
salt to taste
1/4 C olive oil
1 C finely chopped onion
1 C finely chopped celery
1/3 C finely chopped carrot
1 clove of garlic, minced
2/3 C canned Italian Plum Tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
1 (15oz.) can of Cannellini Beans ( white kidney beans)
Fresh ground black pepper
3 TBS freshly grated Parmesan Cheese, more to taste if you prefer

Detach the stalks from the Chard and slice them crosswise into 1/8" pieces.
Cut the Chard leaves into 1/4 " wide strips. Set aside

Bring 5 C to 6 C of water to a boil in a saucepan.
Add barley and 1/4 tsp salt
Cook at a gentle simmer for 40 - 45 minutes, until tender, but still chewy
Set a colander over a bowl and drain the barley and retain all of the liquid

While the barley is cooking, heat oil in a soup pot on medium heat.
Add onion and cook until tender and golden in color
Add celery and carrot
Cook 6 minutes, stirring
Add garlic and continue to cook another minute
Add tomatoes , continue simmering for about 5 minutes
Add Chard leaves and stalks
Season with salt
Mix well
Cover the pot and turn the heat down to low
Cook about 25 minutes longer

Add drained barley and beans
Mix well
Add enough of the reserved barley liquid to make a stew consistency, if not enough, add water.
Season to taste with black pepper

Serve with grated fresh parmesan cheese on the side

This recipe was adapted from Marcella Cucina by Marcella Hazen

Peace in the Kitchen

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