Silverbeet (or chard for my UK friends) is one of those veggies that has quite a strong, bitter taste and people often aren’t really sure what to do with it. 12 months ago I would have included myself in that group of people who weren’t sure how to make silverbeet tasty. Then my parents grew a whole lot of it and so I decided I needed to learn. I started speaking to people, researching recipes and experimenting with this lovely, and very healthy, leafy green.
One easy way to prepare silverbeet, is simply by pan frying it with garlic and butter. This makes for a nutritious, simple and delicious side dish. Another option is of course to add it into spanakopita, Greek style (though Italian’s do something very similar!). Almost like a quiche. And yes you can of course add it to quiche…
Not long after, a Karen Martini recipe using tuna, lemon, mascarpone and of course, silverbeet, was shared with me by the loverly Hannah ♥ I haven’t looked back! I have adapted it slightly but the concept is the same. It is a wonderful way to incorporate a big bunch of bitter greens into your repertoire.
Some of my other favourite pasta recipes are:
- 1 tbsp salt
- 500 g pennette (or any penne)
- 2 brown onions
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves
- 3-4 tsp fennel seeds
- 3 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1 fresh red chilli
- Salt flakes & pepper
- 1 bunch silverbeet (chard)
- 1/2 bunch fresh parsley
- 500-600 g tinned tuna
- 3 lemons
- 250 g mascarpone
Bring a large pot of VERY salted water to boil, add the pasta.
Place a wide-based pan on medium heat. Finely slice the onion and cook it in about 1 tbsp of olive oil. Finely chop or grate the garlic and add it into the pan after about 4 minutes along with the fennel seeds. Then add the tomatoes, chilli, and season now with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3-4 minutes
Strip the leaves from the silverbeet, and discard the bottom of the stems (I like to include a little bit of stem!). Roughly chop. Add the chopped silverbeet for the final three minutes of cooking in the boiled water with the pasta.
When the pasta is cooked, drain (reserve a little water) and add the pasta into the pan with the onion/tomatoes. Add the parsley (chopped roughly), tuna and lemon zest (3 lemons) and remove from heat. Add the mascarpone and stir to combine, breaking up the tuna.
Add in lemon juice to taste (1-3 lemons). Use the reserved pasta water if it’s a little thick and sticky. Season again if needed and serve with freshly grated parmesan.