I improvised this pasta dish tonight out of ingredients in my fridge and pantry that I needed to use up. Despite the wacky mix of ingredients, it actually tastes delicious!
First I sautéed 4 cloves of garlic, 1 shallot, and 4 scallions in plenty of olive oil, seasoning with some herbes de Provence, freshly ground black pepper, and dried kombu and shiitake-laced sea salt (similar to the Breakaway Cook’s umami salt, but minus the Parmesan). Then added a bunch of white Swiss chard, sliced into ribbons, a handful of chopped walnuts, and a roughly chopped Fuji apple. Then I added in a few splashes of 100% pure apple cider from the farmers market and a heaping spoonful of organic white miso. I let the mixture braise on low heat for a bit until the greens wilted. Meanwhile, I cooked up the whole wheat penne pasta. I used the apple and chard mixture to dress the pasta, adding a bit more olive oil, and topping things off with some grated Gruyère cheese and more freshly ground black pepper.
This salad is one of my current obsessions. I just can’t get enough of this stuff. It’s a real orgy of flavors, with tangy, creamy blue cheese gettin’ it on with the nutty walnuts, peppery arugula, sweet fig preserves and crunchy croûtons. (Recipe below)
Ingredients (serves 2):
- Two handfuls of a baguette or other crusty bread cut into 1-inch cubes (This is a great way of using up your day-old leftover bread)
- One handful of raw walnut halves
- One clove of garlic, finely chopped
- Three or four handfuls of arugula, washed and thoroughly dried
- One or two green onions, thinly sliced
- One handful of blue cheese, crumbled, or cut into little cubes
- Extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt & pepper to taste
- Fig preserves (I used the sun-dried fig jam preserve from Mymouné)
- Put the bread cubes, walnuts and garlic in a mixing bowl. Season well with salt and pepper. Mix in some olive oil to lightly coat the bread and walnuts.
- Transfer the mixture to an oven-proof baking dish and bake in a 425 degree F oven (220 Celsius) for 10 minutes, or until the garlic is cooked through and the bread is crunchy. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Mix together ingredients 4 to 6 in a bowl. Add the bread and walnut mixture. Season with a bit more salt and pepper, and dress with a bit of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss.
- Transfer the salad to a plate and top with some dollops of fig preserve. Serve immediately