With winter comes gloomy days and the want to be inside getting cosy, enjoying rich, hearty, comfort food. With winter also comes a change in the harvest. In our modern world of convenience, it’s easy to forget this. You can find 24-hour supermarkets stocked with produce from every corner of the earth ready for us anytime we want. That isn’t the point of this post today though, the point is to talk about what is in season and how to turn into a warm comforting wholesome meal. This gorgeous rainbow chard just so happens to be and it’s growing like crazy here currently.
Chard is often mistaken for being apart of the spinach family when it’s really a relative of beets. The flavour is similar to spinach with mild, sweet, earthy notes. It holds up really well when stir-fried and adds a huge colour pop to your meal, especially if you use rainbow chard.
I’m not really sure what to call this recipe yet, hopefully, I’ll get an idea by the time I finish writing this post. Regardless let me tell you what the go is:
- Creamy polenta
- Chickpeas and rainbow chard stir-fried with garlic and lemon
- Spiced brown butter bread crumb
- Toasted hazelnuts to make it a little extra
A mouthful to say but a delicious one to eat! I mean brown butter and toasted hazelnuts!? Pure indulgence of the best kind.
How to Cook Rainbow Chard with Chickpeas and Brown Butter Breadcrumb
This recipe is easy peasy to make, the longest and most difficult part of cooking this meal is the polenta. Which if you ever cooked it before you know it needs time and a little attention every 5-10 mins (a lot like me). The general rule is 1:4 ratio – every one cup of polenta equals 4 cups of water. To cook polenta, season the water and bring to a boil, whisk in polenta until there are no lumps. Reduce to low and whisk for 5 minutes until thickened. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, mixing about every 5-10 minutes. Once cooked you can mix in some butter or cheese if you also a fellow lover of cheese. I had some leftover Creme Fraiche in my fridge so I mixed in about 1/2 cup and it made it even more creamy.
Now that the most difficult part is out of the way let’s move onto cooking the Rainbow Chard with Chickpeas.
Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a skillet and add chopped chard stalks and garlic. Cook stir frying for 3 minutes, then add chard leaves, lemon and chickpeas and stir together.
IMPORTANT: Always season your food. This is common knowledge right?
Pinch or two of salt and a few cracks of pepper should be enough. Taste to check.
Once the leaves have softened remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan melt butter until starting to brown, it will get frothy and its okay, that’s just the moisture evaporating. Throw in some chopped hazelnuts and cook until toasty – around 3 minutes. Remove before adding breadcrumbs ( I sometimes don’t but from a presentation, perspective its good to have them to sprinkle over the top last). Add in breadcrumbs, which I made just by toasting bread and grinding it up and your spices. Cook until bread crumbs are toasty – 5ish minutes.
Make a base of polenta, add the rainbow chard and chickpeas on top then spoon over the brown butter bread crumbs and sprinkle with hazelnuts.
Creamy, comforting, full of texture and flavour, can be made with minimal effort. Literally no excuse not to make this meal
You + cozy blanket + good book + bowl full of this = day sorted
Other Vegetarian Recipes you might enjoy:
- Chickpea and Beetroot Burgers – 8 ingredient vegan beetroot burger patties that are crispy and not mushy served with a slightly tangy whipped feta sauce
- Sweet Potato Gnocchi – Easy, quick and only requires three ingredients! Serve with brown butter sage sauce for pure comfort in a bowl.
- Pan-fried Rainbow Dumplings – Naturally coloured Rainbow Dumplings filled with vegetables and flavoured with soy sauce.
If you try this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment, rate it, or tag me on Instagram (@tillyeats). I love seeing what you create!
Creamy polenta topped with stir-fried garlicky rainbow chard and chickpeas topped with a spiced brown butter breadcrumb and toasted hazelnuts. Comforting, filling, nutritious , full of flavour.
- 1 cup polenta
- 4 cups water
- 1 bunch rainbow chard stems and leaves chopped
- 1 cup chickpeas
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lemon zest and juice
- 4 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- pinch chilli flakes
- 1 tsp lemon zest
In a medium saucepan, bring seasoned water to a boil. Slowly begin to whisk in polenta until there are no lumps. Reduce heat to low and whisk often until polenta begins to thicken about 5 minutes. Cover and cook for 30 minutes, mixing about every 5 minutes. If polenta becomes too thick to whisk, use a wooden spoon or any spoon for that matter. You know the polenta is cooked when it's creamy and tender.
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil, garlic and chard stems. Cook for 3 minutes then add chickpeas, leaves, squeeze over lemon juice and season. Cook until leaves have softened, about another 3 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside
In the same skillet add the butter and let melt until nutty smelling and brown (if using hazelnuts add them to the butter and cook until golden, remove before adding other ingredients). Add in the bread crumbs, spices, plus salt and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes or until bread crumbs are toasty. Stir in lemon zest and adjust seasoning to taste.
Divide polenta into serving bowls and spoon over chard/chickpea mix. Sprinkle over breadcrumbs and toasted hazelnuts.
Calories a for 1/4th of the recipe. Calories are worked out using an online calculator and may not be 100% accurate.
NOTE: All images and text on this website are protected by copyright. Please do not post or republish this recipe/images without permission from me -Tilly. If you want to share this recipe, please share the link rather than the whole recipe. Thank you so much! 🙂