Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Once in a blue moon, I make my way out to the Whole Foods Market. It is a real treat for me to peruse this store as there are so many exciting, unfamiliar foods to snatch up. Self-control is an indispensable virtue I am forced to employ whenever I pass through the portal. And I NEVER go on an empty stomach.

Always looking for an innovative way to 'eat my greens,' I opted for a bunch of Rainbow Swiss Chard, amongst the produce, beckoning to me with its vivid hues of the rainbow. The dark, virid leaves, the sunshine yellow veins, the lively orange stalks, transfixed my gaze and I had eyes for no other vegetable. Quite honestly, they looked like someone grew them in a Kool-aid solution. Their vivacity is distracting.

Never having encountered these before, it was necessary to do a little research. I discovered that they can be used as a substitute in most dishes that contain spinach, such as lasagna or omelets. They cook up real nice in a skillet with a little garlic and butter. Although, the chard takes a bit longer to saute than spinach, its flavor, I find, is a bit more forgiving, not quite as bitter.

My greatest discovery of the day, however, is that there is no limit to the kaleidoscope of color employed in making a dish. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that there existed a platter containing more vibrancy than I already beheld in these leaves.

As I was browsing through recipes, I stumbled upon a dish on the Food Network website for a seared pork tenderloin with fruit chutney. It literally bursts with flavor. Your tastebuds feel as if they are dancing under a disco ball on a hot, summer night. I love the tartness of the apricots, the sweetness of the prunes, the kick of the red pepper flakes, the citrus notes of the orange zest....and then there's the chard.

The best part: it is incredibly quick and easy to make. Cook time is 20 minutes tops and an additional 10 to prepare your ingredients (or you can multi-task like me and cut up everything that goes in the chutney while the pork sautes on the stove). I don't think I will ever again broil my pork chops with lemon-pepper seasoning....b-o-o-ring.

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