Rainbow Chard with Sausage & Beans over Polenta

For Mother’s Day, the boys and I spent the day in the city. We had a few things in mind for our itinerary, but decided we’d do what we do best and wing it for the most part.

We started our morning off at the Fort Mason Farmers Market. We arrived early enough to score an awesome *free* parking spot (which is a pretty BIG deal in San Francisco!). Since the vendors were still getting set up, we decided to walk across the street to Starbucks for a caffeine fix and an excuse to use their restroom!
It worked out to be perfect timing. We got to the farmers market just before it became too crowded. While there I picked up some shallots, rainbow chard, fresh (not dried) garlic, and a head of orange cauliflower. All organic.

I was a little hesitant to buy too much produce since I knew that whatever I’d be purchasing would be sitting in a cooler in the back of the car all day. Also because we have two baseball games scheduled for the upcoming week, which means I won’t be doing a lot of heavy cooking.

After the farmers market we headed to see the “painted ladies”. This famous row of houses is probably known best for their appearance in the intro to the television series “Full House”.  Which I wouldn’t doubt that I have seen every single episode of!

Next up we headed to North Beach A.K.A “Little Italy”. (And again, another amazing FREE parking spot!) Every time I’m in North Beach I have to stop at Stella Pastry & Cafe. This time we ordered a cannoli, an Apple turn-over and some Italian butter cookies with sprinkles. Yum!

As if that wasn’t filling enough, we then walked around the corner to a little hole in the wall known as Golden boy Pizza. We arrived just minutes before they opened for the day. We watched them slide their pizzas into the window display just as they unlocked the front doors.  We made their first order of the day!


Four slices of pizza, a sprite, a water, and a tall glass of beer for $21! Yes, please!

The crab & garlic pizza is to die for!


The server was kind enough to give us a clean pizza box even though I offered to pay for it. We told him we were headed to Seward Mini Park to slide down the cement slides and that we needed the cardboard to slide down on. He admitted that was an excellent reason to need a pizza box and refused any payment for it. So, I slipped an extra tip into the jar for his kindness. 😉

 


As if we hadn’t come across our share of luck so far into our trip, we were ecstatic to discover that we had the park to ourselves! The mister and I took advantage of it and let our inner child out while we took a few turns sliding down ourselves!
After that, we drove back down to the marina in hopes that the tide would be a little bit higher than it had been in the morning. We again parked the car in the free lot and took a short stroll down through the Golden Gate Yacht Club parking lot. Just past the lot is a jetty and at the very end is the Wave Organ.  The Wave Organ is constructed of cement pipes in various degrees that use the echos of the crashing waves to amplify the sound resulting in an amazing ocean melody.


The views from the jetty are fabulous! The city skyline sits in one direction while the Golden Gate Bridge sits in the west and lonely Alcatraz stands alone in the center of the bay.

We were lucky enough to get there in time to watch a sailboat race just as they passed the shore.


We were pretty worn out after that and decided to call it a day!  All in all it turned out to be a pretty fantastic day! The weather was beautiful, the kids had a blast and we hardly spent a dime!

kitchen tunes: champagne supernova/oasis

*this recipe was created by: The Daily Garlic.*



INGREDIENTS:


for the chard, sausage & beans:

1 lb Italian sausage; casing removed
1 bunch rainbow chard

1 14.5 oz can great northern beans; drained

2 TBSP olive oil

1 shallot, minced (aprox 2 TBSP)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 C white cooking wine

1 C chicken stock

Salt & pepper

For the polenta:



1 1/2 C milk

1 1/2 C chicken stock

1 C polenta

2 TBSP butter

Fresh cracked pepper

DIRECTIONS:


For the chard, sausage & beans:

  • Prepare the chard by first washing it then removing stems from leaves.
  • Chop the stems and set aside.
  • Roughly chop leaves and set those aside as well.
  • In a large cast iron pan brown the Italian sausage over med-high heat while separating into large chunks. When cooked through, remove and set aside.
  • In the same pan, heat olive oil and sauté the chard stems with the shallot, garlic, salt & pepper.
  • Once the stems begin to soften, remove from pan and set aside with the cooked sausage.
  • Deglaze the pan with the white cooking wine and add the chard leaves. Sauté just until wilted.
  • Return the sausage and chard stems back into the pan. Add in the beans and chicken stock. Salt & pepper if needed. Lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

For the polenta:

  • Heat the milk and chicken stock until it starts to come to a boil.
  • While whisking, slowly pour in the polenta.
  • Continuously whisk until thickened.
  • Stir in the butter and pepper.
  • ENJOY!