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Sep 24, 2012

MEATLESS MONDAY: rainbow chard & pasta

Hello dears! I am writing from London. It's been the second day of my cooking adventure at The Modern Pantry. Let me just say: I am so exhausted... It's like my bones have their own will, they won't want to get off of the couch, ever again. They just plan to sit here, forever, relying on people to take care of me and feed me... 

But also - and that's certainly the more interesting part - I am experiencing so many good things! After only two days, I've learned how to make really good, soaked, nicely shrunk breakfast pleotus mushrooms (the English way) and breakfast tomatoes, inari filled with a fennel mix, fish cakes, potato mash, parsnip mash and a proper salsa verde - the Modern Pantry way. I've watched the chefs closely (whenever possible, in between my fetching, cleaning, washing, chopping, mincing, slicing and dicing job...), and just by watching I am taking so much in. My head is already full to the brim with inspiration... And I slowly get to understand the processes in a professional kitchen (slooooowly). Okay, also, I cut myself (for the first time, and hopefully for the last...). That wasn't so good. But obviously, cuts and bruises and burns are simply part of a chef's life (like Luca, the sous chef, said). 

Stay tuned for more aspirational chef's insights! Ciao for now!



  • 1 medium bowl differently colored rainbow chard
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 tbsp. rosemary needles, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 pinch chili flakes
  • 1 tsp. acacia honey
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 pinch Maldon sea salt
  • Spaghetti or any other pasta, cooked
  • Handful black olives, pitted, minced
  • Handful cherry tomatoes, halved


  1. Wash and clean the chard. Separate the leaves from the stems. Slice the stems in 2cm large pieces and do the same with the leaves.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Add the garlic slices and fry for 2 minutes, until golden. Remove and place on some paper towel to soak up the excess olive oil.
  3. Sautee the stems in the frying pan with the olive oil, adding the rosemary, chili, honey and salt, for about 3 minutes, until softened. Then add the chard leaves as well. Cook until soft.
  4. In the meantime, cook the pasta of your liking. Drain and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. If you can, add a bit of the pasta cooking water to the chard pan. 
  5. Put the garlic back to the chard pan, add the lemon juice and season with more salt or pepper to taste. If you are adding no pasta, stop here, and serve the chard as a side dish.
  6. If you want to make a whole meal out of it, continue by adding the tomato halves and the olives to the pan, stir to heat through. Combine the chard with the pasta. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: unrequited milk maids

There are indisputable clear signs of addiction. They say acknowledging you have a problem is the hardest part. I disagree miserably. It may b the first part, but its nary the hardest. "What about my chances for Diabetes...its not genetically implied for me, so I should be all good right?" I asked feverishly just this afternoon. A question so gnawing, yet still followed by, "just how much is too much....a gallon right?"

Yes, I have a problem. I am aware. Ashamed, on the other hand, that I am not. You see, my sugar dependency (the word addiction inserted here being way too controversial) has manifested itself into a rapidly growing ice cream binge, leaving my former Snickers-smuggling-self in the dust. How did this come to be? Wasn't it I who took the rolve of evolutionary savior just some years ago, storyboarding Youtube PSA's that would bring light to the travesty that is modern milk consumption? Oh yes, you have heard that we shouldn't drink milk right? That momma's boobs doubled our weight in less than two years back when we were infants, and we butcher this ingenious biological design by not only continuing to drink milk, but drinking milk from another mother's boobs. Yuck!

That was me. High on literary enlightenment (can someone say Skinny Bitch) and ready to show up my righteous method. But then this happened: Coldstone Creamery. That son of a bitch. In fact, if I recall, the craving for marble slab custom ordered ice cream came just as I was finishing up my never-to-be-seen faux documentary on unnecessary milk consumption. The ironic hypocrisy is not missed. How I did not connect milk with frozen dairy desserts is beyond me. Fast forward a few years and I'm practically jonesing for a hit. For the last week alone, I've savored a small bowl after dinner like clock work, everything from pad Thai inspired peanut butter to sea salted caramel to drunken roasted plum cheesecake and even goat cheese berry swirl ice cream. Oh yeah, believe it my friends. And not just any old ice cream. Homemade ice cream. I have taken my addiction from abuser to dealer. I'm so intimate with my addiction that I've taken measures to feed my consumption like a vertically integrated Fortune 500. So I ask again, how or when did I devolve into this shameless, monopolizing, wholly obsessed dairy phene?


What are you addicted to? Comment your sugar addicts anonymous stories below!
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