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Summer Pasta Salad with Marinated Chickpeas

Posted Jun 16 2011 12:00am
The "guest star" of last night's dinner - Swiss chard:

Or, more specifically, Fordhook Giant Swiss chard.  These stalks were gigantic - easily at least the length of my forearm + hand.  I knew I had to whip them into submission quickly before they tried to take over my kitchen and befriend my cats.

I hadn't anticipated this portion of my produce delivery , but thankfully I have a little more experience with Swiss chard than I did with the kohlrabi we munched on earlier in the week, so I wasn't quite as overwhelmed.  After a quick inquiry to the horti-husband ("Can we eat the stems, or just the leaves?"..."All of it - it's like celery."), I sliced and slashed through the leaves with a vigor one usually reserves for cutting through dense jungles.

A little saute in the hot tub with some olive oil and garlic, and I easily incorporated my surprise guest into my meal plan .

Summer Pasta Salad with Marinated Chickpeas

For the marinated chickpeas:
One 15.5-oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp each fresh chopped parsley, rosemary, and oregano
1 - 2 Tbsp olive oil
Splash of red wine vinegar
Splash of truffle oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Combine the above ingredients in a small bowl, mixing to coat the chickpeas.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside.

For the remainder of the dish:
10 - 12 large stalks Swiss chard, chopped coarsely
2 cloves garlic, sliced thin
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 Tbsp olive oil
Splash red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper, to taste
8 oz uncooked Barilla Plus rotini (or whatever whole grain pasta you wish to use)

1. Cook the pasta according to the directions on the box. Drain and set aside.

2. In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and saute for one minute.

3. Add the Swiss chard, turning the heat down to medium-low.  Stir to coat the chard with oil.  Saute for about five minutes, until the chard has wilted but is still a vibrant green color.

4. Add a splash of red wine vinegar at the end of cooking.

5. Combine the pasta, chard, bell pepper, carrots, and marinated chickpeas in a large bowl.  Season with salt and pepper.

Serves 4;  Approximately 374 calories per serving (65g carbs, 7g fat, 17g protein)
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