It really is gorgeous isn't it? Fluorescent, brightly-hued stalks in hot pink, orange, yellow and white. Admittedly, mostly heretofore grown in my potager for its colorful good looks, texture and drama. (find my ode to this garden beauty here.) Finally, this season I am as enthusiastic about its culinary merits as its aesthetic ones. (Watch the 4 YOUR GARDEN video above to see it in its full glory. Don't see it on your device? go here)
Stock full of vitamins, phytonutrients and fiber, Swiss chard is a an easy-to-grow garden green that I have finally learned to wrangle into my home cooking and freezer inventory. I confess...I have found those huge stalks and mammoth leaves intimidating to deal with. Until now. I have finally found a method for harvesting, storing and cooking this leafy green that works for me.
I cut in the morning when the leaves are fresh, sturdy and unfazed by afternoon heat and sun. Washing the greens outside on the lawn, puts the water back where it needs to be, in the garden, and makes me feel better about using the copious amount of water it takes to get the large leaves clean.
Then I begin to:
1. Strip the stalks of the leafy leaves and separating the two.
2. Chop the stalks (not unlike celery) into smaller pieces.
3. Sauté these jewel colored bits with diced onion and garlic in butter or olive oil.
4. When the diced veggies are soft and tender, add the leaves, after tearing or cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Add salt and pepper to taste. The greens will then cook down and wilt (keep adding greens as it does so). I then stop cooking when the leaves are still a vibrant, fresh green color.
5. Use immediately or divide into cup-sized portions and freeze.
At this point, let your taste buds be your guide! Add it to eggs and cheese to make a fritatta, (I like the SKINNY TASTE RECIPE here)
or the SKINNY TASTE Crust less Swiss Chard Pie I wrote about earlier here.
My new favorite way to use these cups of chard deliciousness is in a one pot wonder of a meal, Martha Stewart's ONE POT CHICKEN AND RICE WITH SWISS CHARD (recipe here).
Great, tasty, healthy comfort food. Perfect for a fall meal with salad and crusty bread. Give it a go!
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