||Chard has a crunchy stalk with large green leaves. It is similar to beets and spinach in taste. The leaves and stalks are edible. The stalks come in a variety of colors - the white ones are the most tender. Chard is a nutritional powerhouse.
||Place unwashed leaves in a plastic bag and store in the fridge. To wash, submerge leaves in a large bowl of cool water and swish them around to remove any excess dirt.
||To keep the powerful nutritional value intact; try 'quick boiling' the chard. Place in boiling water for a few minutes (longer than a blanch), taste a leaf (it is done when it looses its bitterness), rinse under cool water, wring out and enjoy.
What else is in your bag? Back to this week's Harvest Guide!
Basic Swiss Chard Recipe
- 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
- 1 small clove garlic, sliced
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp water
- Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
- 1 teaspoon butter
1 Rinse out the Swiss chard leaves thoroughly. Remove the toughest third of the stalk, discard or save for another recipe (such as this Swiss chard ribs with cream and pasta). Roughly chop the leaves into inch-wide strips.
2 Heat a saucepan on a medium heat setting, add olive oil, a few small slices of garlic and the crushed red pepper. Sauté for about a minute. Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves. Cover. Check after about 5 minutes. If it looks dry, add a couple tablespoons of water. Flip the leaves over in the pan, so that what was on the bottom, is now on the top. Cover again. Check for doneness after another 5 minutes (remove a piece and taste it). Add salt to taste, and a small amount of butter. Remove the swiss chard to a serving dish.
Gratin of Chard
Serves 4 to 6
- 1 pound chard
- ½ cup olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 cup grated Gruyere and Parmesan cheese, mixed [can also use Asiago in place of the Gruyere and/or Romano in place of the Parmesan – Tom]
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon flour
Wash and rib the chard. Slice ribs thin and parboil for 2 minutes in boiling, salted water. Add the leaves and, when they are tender, drain and refresh chard under cold water. Squeeze the mass to extract liquids and dry briefly over heat.
Give chard a rough chop, then simmer briefly in ½ cup olive oil until it turns a dark green. Mix in ¾ cup of cheese, season well, and place in a small gratin dish. Mix flour with the remaining ¼ cup of cheese and scatter over the top. Dribble 2 tablespoons olive oil over the cheese and bake at 350° until the top is crusted and golden.
Paupiettes of Chard
The following delicate preparation should not come up against anything too strident on the same plate. It would form a nice accompaniment for a simple, lightly sauced supreme of chicken or make a good addition to an all-vegetable lunch. Or let it stand on its own as a separate small course in the French manner. [Tom notes: a little fancy and complex for the average weeknight dinner, this would be a fun “show-off” dish for a weekend dinner with company.]
- 15 large, perfect chard leaves and ribs
- 2 large leeks, trimmed
- 1 small head Boston lettuce
- 2 or 3 sorrel leaves
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 egg
- ½ cup whipping cream
- ½ cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt, pepper, nutmeg
Carefully soak and was the chard in two waters to rid its sculpted surfaces of sand. Peel off the outer layer of the leeks, slit them to withing 1 inch of the root, and gently spread the leaves under running water to rinse out any dirt. Wash lettuce and sorrel.
The chard leaves must be flexible enough to roll up so, with a paring knife, slice off the botton of the thick rib. Start removing the rib from about the center of the leaf down. Reserve the ribs. Bring a saucepan of water to a boil and, holding them with tongs, parboil each leaf until it is bright green and limp. Spread the leaves out, back rib side up, on paper toweling. Choose the 8 best leave for the paupiettes.
Slice the chard ribs and the leeks into thin julienne (matchsticks). Cut the lettuce, sorrel, and remaining chard leaves into a fine chiffonade shred.
Melt 4 tablespoons butter in a frying pan, add 1/3 cup water and gently stew the chard stalks, leeks, and leafy chiffonade.
Mix egg, cream, Parmesan, and seasoning. When the greens are cooked (the water should be evaporated by this time), add them to the thick cream.
Spread an eighth of the mixture down the center of each paupiette leaf. Fold the long edges over the filling and roll up. Place in a well-buttered gratin dish. Add ½ cup water and place a cold shaving of butter on each paupiette. Bake at 350° for 25 to 30 minutes. Baste two or three times during this period. Serve with a spoonful of the buttery juices.