Follow along as we highlight vegetables that we're currently harvesting...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Perfect Winter Bouquet!

Store chard in water in a vase to prolong its shelf life and add color to your kitchen when spring flowers are not blooming yet.

Favorite Chard Recipes

Quinoa Chard Pilaf

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups uncooked quinoa, rinsed

1 cup canned lentils, rinsed

8 ounces fresh mushrooms, chopped

1 quart vegetable broth

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion and garlic, and saute 5 minutes, until onion is tender. Mix in quinoa, lentils, and mushrooms. Pour in the broth. Cover, and cook 20 minutes.

Remove the pot from heat. Shred chard, and gently mix into the pot. Cover, and allow to sit 5 minutes, or until chard is wilted.

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Parmesan Cheese

2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 small red onion, diced

1 bunch Swiss chard, stems and center ribs cut out and chopped together, leaves coarsely chopped separately

1/2 cup water or broth

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

salt to taste (optional)

Melt butter and olive oil together in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Stir in the garlic and onion, and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant.  Add the chard stems and the white wine.  Simmer until the stems begin to soften, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the chard leaves, and cook until wilted.  Finally, stir in lemon juice and Parmesan cheese; season to taste with salt if needed.

Kid-Friendly Recipe

Cheesy Pasta with Chard

6 tablespoons olive oil

4 cups chopped fresh onions

Washed and coarsely chopped greens  -- about 7 or 8 cups

3/4 pound penne, fusilli, shells, or some comparable short pasta

1/2 to 3/4 lb. feta cheese, crumbled

salt and pepper to taste

Sauté onions in olive oil for 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally.  Meanwhile, put the pasta water up to boil.  Add chopped greens to the  skillet, salt lightly and stir until the greens wilt.  Cover and cook 10-15 min. over a medium to low heat.  Cook the pasta.  Just as it becomes ready, add the crumbled feta cheese to the chard, with heat on low (or off).  When the pasta is done, scoop it out with a strainer, drain it and add it directly to the pot full of sauce.  Mix thoroughly.  Cook the completed dish just slightly over a low heat for a few minutes. Add a small amount of grated cheese, if desired, and some black pepper.

Preparation Tips:

  • Cooked chard stems are edible, so save them when eating the leaves raw. 
  • To remove stems, hold leaves in half from the bottom, vein-side out, and pull on the bottom of the stem.
  • Cook the stems for a few minutes before adding the leaves to cook in any dish.
  • Remember - chard cooks down considerably from its raw volume!

Other Ways to Serve Chard:

  • Add smaller, younger raw chard leaves to salad.
  • Stir Fry with sesame oil, garlic and soy sauce, stirring often for 4-5 minutes in a large skillet over medium high heat. Serve with brown rice.
  • Sauté in olive oil with onions or garlic until bright green, add salt and pepper. 
  • Steam leaves whole or coarsely chopped in a covered skillet until the leaves are wilted, anywhere from 3-15 minutes depending on leaf age and thickness. Add lemon juice, or salt and pepper.

** Chard is a great source of Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Magnesium, and Manganese.  So eat up – after you’ve enjoyed it as a table centerpiece, of course!

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