Saturday, 1 February 2014

Spicy Orzo with Swiss Chard & Anchovies

Continuing on our constantly evolving food journey I find that every day truly is a school day. My husband found out he is lacking in vitamin D, which could explain some recent health issues. With this in mind I've been using lots of lovely dark green vegetables and other foods high in vitamin D this week. Spinach, Kale, Chard and Mushrooms to name a few. As well as the addition of canned fish such as Sardines and Anchovies which are high in key nutrients. 

We've kept fish on the menu - on an occasional basis - because as well as their nutritional value we really do enjoy them. However, I watched the documentary 'Vegucated' yesterday and it's definitely resonated with me. The ocean is just another resource for us to drain. But what right do we have? Anyway it just got me thinking and I'm not ruling out giving up fish altogether. We'll see, but I will definitely be making an even bigger effort to source sustainable seafood in the meantime. 

 This is a quick, simple dinner - perfect for week-nights and packed with goodness. Orzo is a durum-wheat pasta and this dish is not dissimilar to a risotto, in a way. To serve 2, you will need:

  • 130g Orzo
  • 200g Swiss chard 
  • 1 tin of anchovies
  • 1 tbsp pine nuts
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • Small handful of dill
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp Cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • Black pepper
Firstly bring a pan of water to the boil and cook the orzo as per the instructions on the pack, approximately 7 minutes, drain then set aside. Try not to overcook as it can become stodgy.

Chop the anchovies and finely slice the garlic. Rinse then shred the chard - I usually cut into strips around 1-2cm wide. Put the pine nuts into a small pan and onto a high heat. Shake around while on the heat and once the nuts have browned slightly take off the heat and set aside in a ramekin. Try not to get distracted while doing this as they will burn very quickly once they start - believe me, I speak from experience!!

Warm the olive oil in a deep pan and set on a medium heat. Add the garlic and anchovies and move around the pan with a wooden spoon for 2 minutes allowing them to release their aromas. Then add the chard and coat well in the flavoured oil. Turn down to a med-low heat, put a lid on the pan and let the chard wilt for 2 minutes. 

Finally add the orzo, cayenne pepper, chilli flakes, toasted pine nuts, dill and a grating of black pepper then mix everything together well before serving. I reserved a little dill and a few pine nuts to pop on the top to serve.

Really lovely warmth and depth of flavour. If you can't get hold of chard any other dark greens will work fine in it's place. If you find anchovies overpowering then just add less - I like the kick a whole tin gives but it can be quite salty if you are not used to them. 

If you are making any of my recipes I would love to hear from you. You can contact me on Twitter / Instagram / Pinterest @VChloeK & tag your photos #edibleroots

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