chard at Fair Share Farm
A couple of weeks ago at the Fair Share pick up, someone asked me how to fix chard. Then last night when I stopped in at the Hallmark CSA pick up at work, I heard many similar inquiries. So I pulled together three chard recipes to share: a simple one for making chard as a side dish, a more complex one for something more hefty, and a very nice soup as well, which I've talked about before in this venue. The leaves can be eaten raw if they're small enough, but I prefer them cooked. Freezing chard is a great way to save for use later; I did a lot of that last fall.
Basic info on Swiss Chard (from a Fair Share Farm newsletter of old):
A relative of the beet, Swiss chard is grown for its beautiful large leaves and stems which are good fresh or cooked. Chard is similar to spinach and beet greens, and high in vitamin A, calcium and potassium.
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 cloves garlic
2 pinches red pepper flakes
1 lg. bunch of chard, stems and leaves chopped separately
juice of 1/2 lemon or a few teaspoons of red wine vinegar
Heat the oil with the garlic and pepper flakes in a wide skillet over med-high heat until the garlic begins to color. Add the chopped stems of the chard and cook until softened a bit. Add the chard and toss to coat it with the oil. Add 1/2 cup water and cook until it's absorbed and the greens are heated through and wilted. Season with salt and a little lemon juice or vinegar.
Stuffed Chard Leaves (from Laurel’s Kitchen)
1 bunch Swiss Chard
2 1/2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup chopped parsley
white part of 3 scallions/green onions – or 1 medium onion, chopped
2 tbsp chopped green garlic or garlic scapes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cup ricotta or cottage cheese
1 tbsp chopped dill
1 egg beaten
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Sauté onion in olive oil
Mix all ingredients except chard
Wash and dry chard leaves remove stems
Place 2 tbsp of fillin no the underside of each leaf a third from the bottom. Fold over the sides of leaf to make a square packet. Place seam side down in a greased baking dish.
Cover and bake for 30 minutes of until done
You can also pour tomato sauce over this dish before baking, or even top with your favorite cheese.
ACQUACOTTA (VEGETABLE SOUP)
from the free Wild Oats magazine, Jan/Feb 2007
Acquacotta means "cooked water," but that doesn't begin to describe how delicious this soup is! It also freezes beautifully, so double the recipe if you like. Adding a Parmesan cheese rind to the soup while it's cooking is a clever Italian method for deepening flavors.
1 lb. Swiss chard or kale
4 Tbs. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped (optional)
1/2 tsp. salt, or to taste
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, or more to taste
2 Tbs. tomato paste
1 cup tomato puree (or - in lieu of the paste and puree, use just over a cup of canned tomatoes and 4 cups of broth/water instead of 8)
2-inch Parmesan rind (optional)
6 1-inch-thick slices Italian bread
grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (optional)
1. Rinse chard in several changes of water until completely free of grit. Drain, stack leaves on cutting board, and finely chop. OR wait until the last minute to remove a hunk of frozen local greens from your freezer.
2. Heat olive oil in large pot over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery, and cook, stirring often, about 10 minutes, or until softened. Stir in salt, crushed red pepper and tomato paste; cook 2 minutes.
3. Reduce heat to medium low; add 8 cups water, tomato puree, Parmesan rind and chopped greens. Cook, partially covered, 45 minutes, or until very thick, stirring occasionally; add more water if needed. Season with salt and pepper. Remove rind.
4. To serve, place slice of bread in bottom of each bowl. Fill with soup, sprinkle with cheese, drizzle with oil, and serve.