Sunday, 12 May 2013

Spinach or Swiss Chard Pasta Sauce

Sprout, and now Big Boy, love Green Cheesy Rice.

Green Cheesy Rice is a dish/name that came about when Sprout was about 2 or 3 years old.  I was at a loss what to give her for lunch, and on a whim whizzed up a big handful of Swiss Chard from the garden (wilted slightly in a pan with some olive oil like cooking spinach, a small clove of garlic, and a handful of Mature Cheddar.  When she asked what it was, I was fearful of mentioning the name of a vegetable (based on previous experience), so I simply told her it was green, cheesy, and had rice in it. And the name stuck.

The resulting green puree looks singularly unappetising.  Almost exactly like something you'd fish out from a pond on the end of a stick.  But it is truly delicious stirred through cooked rice or pasta.

Sprout is now 7 1/2 and asked for this the other week, eagerly backed up by her 'baby' brother (nearly 5) .  I guess it is comfort food for them, as the sauce gloops the rice together and makes it a toddler spoon friendly meal - no tricky cutting or even stabbing for tired school children.

Princess, however, pulled a face when I told her the plan for Green Cheesy Rice.  I don't know whether it is her blindness or her cerebral palsy which makes her dislike the texture of rice (funny though - she wolfs it down swamped in curry sauce) but seemed delighted when I offered to put the sauce over pasta for her.

I usually make this with Swiss Chard, but it is too early in the year for my seedlings to amount a meal yet so I used a big handful of baby spinach leaves from Riverford.

Spinach or Swiss Chard Pasta Sauce
1 big handful of washed Swiss Chard or Spinach
1 small garlic clove, peeled and roughly chopped
1 handful grated mature cheddar
1/2 tbsp olive oil

Soften the chard/spinach in a pan with the olive oil for a few minutes over a gentle heat.  Put the wilted veg into a blender cup with the garlic and cheese and any juices from the pan.  Puree until smooth.  Stir into hot pasta or rice.

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