Chard farinata with leafy greens pesto
I feel like I’m time traveling right now. When this post goes live I will be in Manhattan, recovering from my 39th birthday the night before and getting dolled up for lunch at Le Bernadin! However, as I write this, It’s Sunday night and I’m at about 35,000 feet over Nebraska. I’m just hoping that I can craft something intelligible after two glasses of Virgin America’s house white and the altitude have worked their magic on me. I have to admit, I am cheating a bit with this post, but I hope you’ll forgive me – consider it a belated birthday present. I originally posted this very same recipe on Food52 this past weekend after entering a contest that I read about in Goop. Yep, I’m that nerd. I have a total soft spot for Goop and am I big fan of of Gwyneth’s cookbooks, so when the contest popped up I couldn’t help myself. The challenge for the contest is to make something inspiring with the dark, leafy greens that are so abundant this time of year. I was already planning to develop a recipe using chickpea flour, so decided to incorporate greens and kill two birds with one stone. Turns out it was a pretty tasty idea! I added chard to the farinata, a delicious savory cake made from chickpea flour that doesn’t require eggs, which makes it gluten free and vegan. And the pesto has loads of dark leafy greens – kale, spinach and chard – and lots of protein rich hemp seeds. While it sounds a bit scary/healthy, trust me, it’s quite delicious. It’s one of those sneaky recipes that you can totally serve to your bacon loving pals (a category I, myself fall into) for brunch, and they’ll have no idea that they just scarfed down a boat load of healthy goodness.
The last day to enter the contest is January 28, so there’s still time. Join me! I’d love to see what you make, so if you submit something, please share your link in the comments below!
Leafy greens pesto recipe
This recipe can also be made completely nut free by substituting the pine nuts for more hemp seeds.
2 cups kale, ribs and stems removed
1 cup spinach leaves 1 cup chard, ribs and stems removed
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
1/4 cup hemp seeds
3 tablespoons meyer lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Prepare an ice bath. Blanch kale, spinach and chard in a pot of boiling water until soft, about 1 minute. Immediately submerge blanched greens in ice bath until cool. Wring out all excess water from greens by squeezing with your hands. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 300. Place pine nuts on a rimmed baking sheet and cook for 10 minutes, stirring once halfway through, until golden brown. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature. Reserve half of the toasted pine nuts for garnish.
In a food processor, add the blanched greens, half of the pine nuts, hemp seeds, lemon juice, garlic and kosher salt. With the processor on, drizzle the olive oil in to the mixture until incorporated, scraping down the sides as needed. Blitz for several minutes until all ingredients are well incorporated and the pesto appears creamy.
Chard farinata recipe
2 cups chickpea flour
3 teaspoons kosher salt
1/4 cup chard leaves, minced
extra virgin olive oil
Whisk chickpea flour and kosher salt with 2 1/2 cups of water and 1/4 cup olive oil until all lumps are eliminated. Set aside at room temperature to allow the flour to absorb the liquid, for several hours up to over night. Just before baking, whisk in minced chard leaves.
Preheat oven to 475. Place 12″ cast iron skillet in oven for 5 – 10 minutes or until it is heated through. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet making sure that the entire surface is covered. Add the chickpea and chard batter and return to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, turning halfway through.
Cut into wedges and serve warm with a generous dollop of leafy greens pesto and some toasted pine nuts.