Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Chard and Sausage

What better to do on a brisk Sunday morning in February, than take a trip to the Marin Civic Center Farmers Market. It has been years since I have been to this market, maybe more so because it is a 45 minutes drive from where I live. The snow capped mountains around the North Bay, the sunshine, after a week of cold rain, what a beautiful day. Now I believe this is one of the biggest Farmers Markets in the Bay Area and what a treat it was. Booths of everything you could every imagine. My main inspiration for this trip was to check out the GF baked good from Mariposa Bakery. What a treat. I got a delicious loaf of vegan Faux Rye Bread, a baguette, 4 glazed GF Chocolate donuts and a cookie. Yummy. I was so surprised to see all of the Gluten Free samples from various vendors. Lots of GF spice blends, dips, cheeses, hot foods. The abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables. I got a bunch of purple kale, to make kale chips, a bunch of red chard and a bunch of rainbow chard. Also some blood oranges, seedless mandarins, Asian pears, fresh strawberries. I also picked up a pack of local organic GF chicken andouille sausage, wow that a delicious treat. Now what to make. Hum.... I have chips to make from the kale, the rye bread will be sliced and topped with Swiss cheese for sandwiches. The baguette will make an amazing garlic bread. The donuts will be breakfast tomorrow. My cookie was eaten while I sipped on a cup of organic coffee. Now for the chard and chorizo. I'm thinking, slow food, stewed tomatoes, garlic, chard, sausage, maybe some cannelli beans served with GF garlic bread using the Mariposa Baguette.

 Now it is all coming together. Local, Organic, GF, sustainable food. What could be better.

3 tablespoons olive oil
4 chicken andouille sausage links, cut into ¼-inch dice
2 garlic cloves, sliced thinly
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 heads Chard, I used one red chard and one rainbow chard, tough stems removed. Leafy greens coarsely chopped
2 cups high-quality canned diced tomatoes, I use Muir glen organic
1 14 oz can of cannelli beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon oregano
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar

Sauteing the sausage. Set a deep skillet or saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil. Put the sausage and garlic into the hot oil. Cook, stirring frequently, until the garlic is golden-brown, about 2 minutes. (Don’t burn it!) Add the red pepper flakes. Stir. Add the chard and stir, cooking until the chard starts to wilt.

Finishing the stew. Immediately add the tomatoes and oregano. Stir. Add a couple of pinches of salt and pepper and stir until the liquid comes to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the chard is softened, but not entirely soggy, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the cannelli beans. Stir to incorporate.  Remove the pot from the heat and cover it, and then allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Take the lid off the pan and season with salt, pepper, and as much of the apple cider vinegar as tastes good to you.

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