Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Steaks with Swiss chard and sun-dried tomato mac and cheese

The other day, Allan jokingly suggested we call ourselves "Pure Land Organic Swiss Chard and Mint", since those are the only two crops that really flourished in the garden. Honestly, I'd be happy with a Swiss chard farm. The stuff is magical. But alas, the final Swiss chard harvest of the summer is upon us.

My plants produced huge gorgeous leaves for about three whole months. I think I'm going to plant some freshies to see if they'll grow for fall. My mustard greens are shaping up nicely in the mean time. And kale, I need to plant some kale! Big weekend of planting coming up in the garden.

I love the sweet, concentrated tomatoey-ness of sun-dried tomatoes. The other week I made some simple oven-dried tomatoes for eating with various cheeses on baguette toasts - just quartered baby plum tomatoes, sea salt, and olive oil. I will definitely make them again, but jarred ones work just fine here, since they're getting pureed to smithereens.

I stumbled upon this recipe while screwing around on Tasty Kitchen and figured it would be a different way to use up some luscious garden chard. I adapted it here and there to adjust for the ingredients I had lying around, and it turned out pretty damn good! I will definitely be making it again. Obviously you can substitute any dark leafy green (spinach, kale, mustard greens, etc) and any cheese you happen to have in the house. I had a little shredded gruyere left from a glorious tomato tart and the remnants of a little log of goat cheese. The tangy goat and pungent Gruyere worked really nicely with the salty Parmesan in the pesto and on top. And of course if you're not into red meat, this would be a great side for grilled chicken or sausage as well.

1/4 cup or so of sun-dried tomatoes (maybe 8 or 9 of the little halves)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp pine nuts, dry toasted
2 cloves garlic
~ 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded (do 2/3 cup since you need more for the top, below)

1 bunch Swiss chard, center ribs removed and diced finely, leaves chopped separately
1 large shallot or small onion, minced
~ 2 tbsp cream
~ 1/3 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
~ 1/3 of a little log of goat cheese
~ 4 oz pasta, I used farfalle
the other ~ 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

2 steaks, we like ribeyes

I can't really speak as to how the steaks were prepared - that is handled by the Mister. Perhaps one day he'll reveal his amazing secret seasoning technique. So anyway, do your steaks however you like.

As for the side, cook your pasta in salted water according to the package directions. Save a cup or so of the cooking water (you'll use it to thin the cheesy sauce), drain the pasta, and set aside.

While that's happening, combine the sun-dried tomatoes, olive oil, pine nuts, garlic, and 1/3 cup of Parmesan in your food processor with a little kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Puree into a paste. It doesn't need to be totally smooth.

In a large oven-proof skillet (otherwise you'll need to transfer into a baking dish, but that's no big deal), saute your shallot or onion with the chard ribs with a pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper for a few minutes, until softened. Add the leaves and saute until cooked down, then add your sun-dried tomato pesto, cream, and a splash of the cooking water. Stir to break down the pesto into the sauce, then add the Gruyere and goat cheese and allow to melt. Add the pasta cooking water as needed to create a nice smooth cheesy consistency. Finally, stir in the pasta until completely combined and top with the other 1/3 cup of Parmesan. Broil on low until the cheese is brown and lovely, 5 or 6 minutes.

Serves 2, takes around 40 minutes. Look at those grill marks! My husband the marvel!


  1. I shall never tell my steak seasoning technique, it's akin to another infamous recipe owned by my mother-in-law, although my much more beautiful other half often watches my activity so I think she is protecting me. One thing is for sure, my steaks only complement Meg's amazing foods.

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  3. I meant famous, not infamous. My apologies to Ms. Sarah, because that dish is like a drug.