Farfalle with Swiss Chard Pesto. vegan

Another quick weeknight meal or lunch. Both the pasta and the pesto can be prepared ahead of time and kept. Warm, assemble, refresh with some pepper, cashew or dried basil and serve. Swiss chard gives the pesto a bright green color and it stays that way even when refrigerated. Use glutenfree pasta for a gf meal.

Swiss Chard is one of the most nutritious vegetables around and ranks second only to Spinach in total nutrient-richness of the World’s Healthiest vegetables. Cooking it lightly also helps reduce the oxalic acid and hence letting the body absorb more calcium and other nutrients. Chard along with some fortified pasta and nuts and you have a great meal. 

We usually get like 12-15 stems of different greens every week! So What else can you do with a bunch of chard?
Add a finely chopped leaf to any of the Daal soups.
Add some to the stuffing to add to a Stuffed Naan flat bread.

Ingredients: Serves 1 hungry person or 2 not so hungry.
1.5-2 cups farfalle, cooked al-dente with salt (or any pasta of choice. Use gf pasta for gf)
5 big Swiss chard leaves and soft ribs
4 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil or organic canola oil
1/4 teaspoon salt or to taste
1/2 teaspoon chili flakes or black pepper
1/2 cup packed basil ( or use 2 Tablespoons basil pesto)
1/4 cup raw cashews
1-2 Tablespoons Extra virgin olive oil
1/4+ cup water (coz my blender needs some water to blend well. and hence made about 1 cup of pesto)
Heat olive oil/canola in a pan on low-medium heat, add garlic and chopped Swiss chard. Cook covered on low for 4-6 minutes or until the chard just about starts to wilt.
Blend with basil, pepper, Extra virgin olive oil cashews and a little water if needed. The pesto can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days, without any change in color.
Cook pasta, and serve topped with the pesto.
Garnish with some powdered Raw cashew mixed with nutritional yeast and pepper flakes.
We had some leftover pesto, so I roasted some large Turnip slices with salt and a little oil the next day, added some fresh chopped tomatoes to the pesto, and topped the Turnip slices with it for a delicious snack!

A thought provoking statistic. One-hundred years ago there were 497 varieties of Lettuce available commercially. Today, there are less than 38. You can participate in the discussion on facebook here

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  1. says

    this is the first time im coming across a pesto recipe where the garlic is roasted first & i love it! im not a big fan of raw garlic pesto… this iv gotta make (maybe with spinach coz iv never seen swizz chard here)

  2. says

    i LOVE the idea of roasting parsnip and topping them with pesto. DELICIOUSNESS. i don’t normally my swiss chard, but i love green leafy veggies!

  3. says

    Thank you for your kind words on the earlier posts too Dassana! Hope you keep visiting!:)

    Thanks Junia. You can use any other leafy green. i pick the ones available at the farm that week and then use it!:)

    Thank you Jess and Anu!

  4. says

    I love pesto. It is one of those foods that feels fancy even though it’s incredibly easy, and the fresh flavors transport a person to summer when basil is in abundance. I didn’t realize that the oxalic acid in swiss chard is reduced when it’s cooked. That’s very interesting! I wonder if that is true for other vegetables that are high in oxalic acid, like spinach.

  5. says

    Cadry, yes it applies to all greens high in oxalic acid.. since that interferes with absorption of nutrients like calcium. a quick one minute boil or steam reduces the acid content.

  6. says

    One of my favorite meals is pasta topped with a vegetable based sauce – and I’m trying this one, next! Most of my sauces are spinach based, but I’ve never had swiss chard so I’m going to give it a try :) Cannot wait!

  7. says

    This sounds fantastic! chard is one of my favorite greens but somehow I have never thought to make pesto with it. This clearly needs to change! :)

  8. Beth says

    I had some chard I needed to use and made this tonight. It is more delicious than I could ever have anticipated. I enjoyed it even more than my usual basil-only pesto. I have a new, favorite (even more healthy) pesto recipe. THANK YOU!!!


  1. […] Swiss Chard Pesto from Vegan Richa. This is probably my favorite of all the recipes I tried this winter. Richa nailed the pesto taste, and I love sautéed swiss chard. And because it only took about 20 minutes, I’ve already made it a few times since. I used quinoa shell pasta instead of farfalle and added few teaspoons of nutritional yeast to create a little extra cheesiness. […]

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