In the spring of 2010, my husband and I started a garden. It was a 4×4 container garden in our backyard and what we thought would be our micro farm. We filled our wooden box with our favorite vegetables, chard included. Long story short, nothing grew, except a long zucchini vine that encroached on my neighbors’ yard. We noticed one day there was one lone stalk of chard. It was next to the grill and was growing through the rock. This was a good three feet from the container. Whenever I see chard at the market or as part of a meal, I think of my one lone Swiss chard. This year, we are growing strictly herbs, Arugula, and my fig tree named “Rico.” AS for my favorite vegetables, I am leaving it to the professionals.
When Jada asked me to be a guest blogger, I jumped at the chance. Local food has been a passion of mine. I love to cook and make things from scratch. I also like the challenge of taking a convenience food, like beans, and making them on the cheap. (Dried beans + your slow cooker or pressure cooker = beans that are better from the can).
I find food is best shared. Whether your order take-out or create an elaborate dinner, great conversation and sharing always manages to make it taste better. Here are some recipes for chard that I adore and are part of the meal planning frequently. I have a friend who avoided chard because of her dislike of the stalks. If you are not a fan, leave them out. No worries. I happen to like the stalks, so I enjoy a pile of magenta stalks all to myself! Make these recipes your own, and have fun with Swiss chard. Thank you for give me the opportunity to share these recipes with you.
Easy Sautéed Swiss Chard
1 bunch of Swiss Chard (stalks included), cleaned and chopped. Chop stalks in a small dice to reduce cooking time.
1 shallot, minced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of olive oil
A pinch of crushed red pepper flake
Fresh grated (or shaved with a vegetable peeler) Parmesan cheese, to finish
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Over medium heat, heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet. Place chard in pan, place a dish and hold it down to sear chard. Once the plate is warm, remove plate. Prior to stirring, add a pinch of salt and pepper, red pepper flake, garlic, and shallots. Toss chard, to cook garlic and shallots, as well as combining them. Once stalks, garlic, and shallots are cooked, remove from heat. Serve immediately with fresh Parmesan cheese.
This basic recipe can be used with any leafy green. A nice variation is to swap the Parmesan cheese, use 1 tablespoon of Apple Cider Vinegar to finish.
Swiss Chard Frittata
2 tablespoons of sour cream (or plain yogurt, Greek style if you have it)
1 rosemary-thyme chicken breast, diced
1 bunch of Swiss chard (stalks are small diced), wash and chopped
1 small onion, finely diced.
1 clove of garlic, minced.
4 small Yukon Gold Potatoes, large dice (cooked with rosemary and thyme)
3 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon of butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh grated Romano Cheese
Frittatas are great for leftovers, leftover chicken, roasted potatoes, and even Swiss Chard. If you do not have leftovers, cook chicken in skillet prior to making the frittata, and set chicken aside. Roast potatoes at 450 for a half an hour. Use olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and thyme for both chicken and potatoes.
Set oven to 350 for Frittata.
Whip the eggs with a pinch of salt and pepper with sour cream or yogurt, set aside. In an oven safe, non-stick or cast iron skillet, cook onion in olive oil, butter, and a pinch of salt. Once the onions are soft, add the garlic. Wilt the Swiss chard and toss with onion and garlic. Add a couple of grinds of fresh cracked pepper. Add chicken and potatoes. Once everything is heated through, add eggs. Ensure all the ingredients are evenly distributed in the eggs. Allow the bottom and edges to set. To test this by giving the pan a shake, top should not be cooked. Grate Romano Cheese and fresh herbs on top. Place the skillet in oven for 20 minutes. Remember the handle is HOT! After 20 minutes jiggle the pan to make sure the egg mixture has completely set. If you would like the top brown, put the pan under the broiler for a minute. Flip the frittata onto a wooden cutting board or serving plate. It should slide out easily. Cut into triangles with a pizza cutter. Serve with a fresh, simple salad.
Swiss Chard Pasta
1 lb of your favorite pasta
1 bunch of Swiss Chard
1 container of grape tomatoes, washed and halved
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of basil
1 teaspoon of oregano
¼ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flake
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh-grated Parmesan Cheese
Cook pasta, according to directions on the box. While the water is coming to a boil, heat olive oil over medium in a large pan. Cook onions and stalks with a pinch of salt until soft and add garlic, herbs, red pepper flake, and fresh cracked pepper. Add Swiss Chard leaves and cook through. Add tomatoes and toss to combine. Once pasta is finished cooking, drain and toss into pan with the sauce. Toss thoroughly to ensure pasta is coated with olive oil and vegetables. You can finish with additional olive oil, if the pasta is dry. Finish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.