I can’t get enough of this pretty and delicious vegetable. Its beautiful colours bring sunshine into my kitchen. Cooking turns the leaves silky, and the stems soft and oh so pretty with its rainbow-hues of pink, orange, yellow and red. And I like to keep my preparation as simple as I can, and not play around with it too much, just enjoying its colourful beauty, lemony flavour, and its rustic charm. So the simple addition of tomato walnut crumble and a creamy burrata makes it a perfect antipasti dish.
I’ve cooked the rainbow chard first, as I like it to be served at room temperature with the hot tomato walnut crumble strewn on top and around the burrata. The combination of textures and tastes is exquisite. Although I normally serve this as part of the antipasti, the recipe can easily be doubled if you prefer to eat it as a light lunch. You will also need extra virgin olive oil to serve, and some great bread.
- 1 Burrata (drained and patted dry)
- 1 bunch rainbow chard
- 2tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2tsp finely minced garlic
- 1 small, hot dried chilli, crumbled
- 2 anchovy fillets, chopped
- Sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lemon
Slice the chard leaves from the stems and cut stems into pieces about 5cm long. Rinse well. Bring a large saucepan of water to the boil and add a spoonful of salt. Add the stem pieces to the boiling water and cook for a minute, then add the chard leaves to the pot, stir well, and cook for another 2 minutes. Drain the rainbow chard well, and gently squeeze it to remove any excess water.
In a large frypan gently warm the olive oil with the garlic, chillies and anchovies. After a couple of minutes, throw in the rainbow chard and gently toss over low heat until the rainbow chard is coated with the aromatic mix. Be careful not to burn. Turn off the heat, and lay the rainbow chard on a serving plate in a lovely tangle of colour, season with the sea salt and pepper, place the burrata on top, scatter with the tomato, walnut crumbs, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with wedges of lemon.
Tomato Walnut Crumble
I have adapted the tomato walnut crumble recipe from one of Nigel Slater’s, reducing the amount of breadcrumbs, and adding walnuts and marjoram.
- 2 large Roma tomatoes
- 25g finely chopped walnuts
- 25g fresh breadcrumbs
- 25g Parmesan, grated
- 1tbsp chopped marjoram leaves
- 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Sea salt flakes and freshly ground pepper
Preheat oven to 200C and line a baking sheet with baking paper. Cut the tomatoes in half, scoop out the seeds, and cut the flesh into small dice. Transfer to a bowl lined with kitchen paper and let sit for 10 minutes. Remove the paper, add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss gently until just combined. Place on the baking sheet and press gently to flatten into a rough rectangle, put in the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the mixture has crisped, and lightly browned. Remove from oven, break up roughly and scatter over the burrata and rainbow chard, drizzle with olive oil, and serve with wedges of lemon.
There will probably be some leftover crumbs, reserve them to scatter over a bowl of pasta later.