Fresh Chard and Orzo Salad

The outdoor space in the loft is a haven. It's a little oasis, quiet and hidden from the noise of the city just outside. 

In this space we've spent sunday mornings grazing through stacks of pancakes with friends, we've clinked glasses late into the night, it's the perfect space for the dogs to play. It's also a hive of vegetable activity this summer. The tomatoes and chillies are looking strong, the salad leaves and big luscious rainbow chard are dense, the root vegetables - the beetroot, horseradish and little carrots are growing strong. 

To say that I will miss this space later in the year, later in the year when we move into chaos, knee deep in renovation and gutting, I'll miss this quiet safe haven. 

The Vizsla's probably won't miss it though, they'll have fields out back and rolling chilterns to patrol for that illusive postman. 

But, nevertheless, it's their space too... 

The great  thing with chard, is that you can pick as much as you like and it will just grow back stronger. 

For a salad for two, I harvested a big fresh bunch - you can pick them up by the bunch at local farmers markets. 

Give the leaves a good wash - infact always wash leaves!

For a salad for two you'll need: 

150grams Orzo

1 Large handful of Chard (trim the stems off but keep them separate)

Juice of 1/2 Lemon

1 Teaspoon Mustard

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil

50grams Pine Nuts

Make the dressing by mixing the lemon juice, olive oil and mustard... 

I have an utter love for Stokes Cider and Horseradish Wholegrain Mustard - it's got bite to it for sure! 

Toast the pine nuts and chopped chard stems on a low heat for 2-3 minutes to brown... 

Cook the Orzo until al dente (about 5-10 minutes depending on the brand), and then strain. 

Stack it all on a plate... open a crisp bottle of white wine... 

...and dinner is served - farm to table in a quarter of an hour!