Three’s a Collection
This is the third post in just a week with a salad recipe. Am I boring you? I hope not. At least this one includes pasta so it’ll stand up as a main dish in a pinch. Certainly makes a nice lunch. In any case, my mom used to tell me that there was some sort of design rule that states that once you have a group of three similar things (dishes, tea kettles, thimbles, those weird spoons they sell at tourist sights), you have a collection. Well, in one short week, I’ve gotten myself a collection of salad recipes. Fancy, eh? To celebrate, there is a new “salads” category on the side bar so feel free to click it in the future to see if my fledgling collection is growing much.
In case you haven’t noticed, this blog is vegetarian. It’s not really meant to be – there are even a few guest posts with chicken in them – but since I don’t really eat meat and I am writing about a vegetable farm, it just sorta happened. I bring this matter up because I am going to be trying to make more suggestions for incorporating meat into my recipes, even if I don’t cook them that way myself.
This time around I’m giving bacon a shot. There are vegetarian versions of bacon on the market and the one I used this time was surprisingly good. Since I don’t do the meat thing myself, I would love to see some comments moving forward from readers about how you incorporated or think you might incorporate meat into a given recipe. It’s good information to have as a reference. I thank you in advance. Now, on to the third in a collection of salad recipes!
PASTA SALAD WITH SWISS CHARD & BACON
Adapted from All Recipes.com
2 c. uncooked rotini or other pasta
1 bunch Swiss chard (10 or 12 stems)
3 small bell peppers (purple, red or yellow)
6 pieces of bacon*
1/2 c. vinaigrette**
salt and pepper
*I used a vegetarian version of bacon from Lifelite that was quite good.
** Use your favorite bottled brand or make Basil Vinaigrette by whisking together 1/3 c. extra virgin olive oil, 2 T. of apple cider or sherry wine vinegar, a generous tablespoon of honey, a generous tablespoon of finely chopped fresh basil, and 1 small finely minced garlic clove. The honey makes this vinaigrette ever so mildly sweet so it’s a wonderful contrast to the salty bacon in the salad.
Cook pasta and bacon according to package directions. Drain and cool bacon on a paper towel before cutting into small pieces.
While pasta finishes cooking, prepare swiss chard by removing stems and the thicker portion of the main “vein” since that part is stringy and tough. Stack chard leaves and roll into a “cigar” to then slice into very thin ribbons. Prepare bell peppers by removing the stems and seeds and slicing into very thin strips. Place both chard and peppers in a large bowl.
Drain pasta and give it a real quick rinse in cool water. You want it to still be a little warm but not terribly hot so it takes off just a little of the rawness from the vegetables but doesn’t cook them. Make sure pasta is thoroughly drained before adding to the bowl of swiss chard and pepper. Add the bacon and pour on dressing sparingly until you reach your desired amount and toss to coat. Salt and pepper to taste.
(serves 2 as a main dish or 4 as a side)