Post # 200.
Amazing–it feels like just yesterday that I decided to make an apple pie (well, two–I’ve never been the type to do things by halves) and then blog it! But, 200 posts later, I’m still loving the blogging world!
I also added a new page to the blog today–called “Top 100”. It’s a list from the New York Times naming the top 100 novels from 1923–present. I’ve started using it as an inspiration when I want to combine what I’m reading by chance (read: books I choose based on their titles and covers alone) with something that will definitely enrich my selection and hopefully make me a little smarter, too. And nerdier? Definitely. So check it out and let me know if you’ve read any of them, and which ones you think I should tackle next.
In last week’s CSA box we received a head of radicchio, which I had never tried before. When I googled it and discovered that is it very bitter, I got a little nervous. I am frankly just not a fan of bitter greens, so I knew I’d have to cook this to make it palatable.
And of course I was also hoping to somehow make it beyond palatable into something more delicious. I adapted this pasta salad recipe from Food & Wine’s Best of the Best Cookbook Recipes, from Laura Pensiero’s Hudson Valley Mediterranean. Her mantra is:
Eat healthy, enjoy food, live well, and never sacrifice flavor.
Now that is a mantra I can get behind.
Chicken & Radicchio Pasta Salad Printable Recipe Card
- 8 oz dry whole-wheat pasta (I used macaroni)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small head radicchio, shredded (for a shredding tutorial, go here)
- 12 oz chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
- 1 C frozen peas
- 1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 t dried garlic)
- 1 1/2 t mustard (I used Trader Joe’s Hot and Sweet Mustard–mmm)
- 1/2 C chicken broth
- 1/4 C freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain and place in a large bowl–this is where the entire salad is going to end up, so make sure there’s enough room.
Heat a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet, and saute the onion until translucent and beginning to brown. Add the radicchio and saute for a few more minutes until it cooks down, but not until it’s totally limp. Add the onions and radicchio to the pasta bowl, and mix. Now is a good time to add the frozen peas, too–the hot pasta will defrost ’em.
Season the chicken with salt and pepper, and add the other tablespoon of olive oil to the (now empty) skillet. Cook the garlic until fragrant (30 seconds or so), and add the chicken, saute until golden brown and cooked through. Add the mustard and chicken broth, and cook until the broth reduces volume by half. Lastly, pour in the Parmesan cheese and stir until it melts and forms a nice, thick sauce.
Add the chicken mixture to the macaroni bowl. Mix. Taste. Be surprised that the radicchio, though bitter, isn’t bad. Taste again. Salt and pepper to taste, toss it one more time, and steal one more taste.
Yum. Serve either warm, at room temperature, or cool. It is totes up to you.
I really enjoyed this pasta dish–definitely an entrée and not a side, and full of different textures. The radicchio was still bitter, but not overwhelming. I had this for lunch today with half of a grilled zucchini and a roasted beet: vegetable city.
For people who don’t need to use up their CSA veggies and don’t like bitter greens, you can make this recipe with spinach or Swiss chard, too. But if you can, give radicchio a chance (because it’s always good to add some variety in your diet!).
Speaking of CSA boxes, say hello to week seven:
And say hello to radicchio number two–guess I’ll have to find another cooked radicchio recipe for this week, too. Any suggestions?