I keep getting a HUGE bunch of swiss chard in my CSA and I just don't really know what to do with it. Last time I blanched it, then sauteed it with bacon and garlic and that was pretty good but I don't want to do that every time.
Help! I prefer simple, few ingredient type things.
Last summer I didn't find any kind of greens that didn't make great pesto-like product (although I didn't grow any swiss chard or try it specifically). Greens (my surplus last year was mustard greens), alliums and allium greens (whatever you got -- garlic leaves have huge flavor that vanishes when you cook them, so they are great for this), whatever nuts you got (I used my local wild pecans) and traditionally, olive oil. But I just used a few more nuts and omitted the oil. I was never disappointed.
stir in butter, parmesan, chopped greens, sundried or fresh tomatoes, etc. Anything that might go into an omelet.
I lived on this last summer for lunch. If you time it right, you can even soft cook an egg in a well on top. If you screw up the timing, it's a mess.
Sausage, bean, greens soup is a classic. It's a clean-out-the-fridge soup too. Freezes better with kale, but will do ok with chard.
Would be good as a base for spaghetti sauce if you wanted to cut back on the noodles.
If you have more than you will use, blanch it in boiling water, chop, squeeze the water out, divide into serving portions and quick freeze on a baking tray, then put the portions into something freezer worthy. I use a small bowl to shape them, they look like green hockey pucks. Can do with spinach, kale, etc., or mixes.
OK so starting from the point I don't know if you have ricotta cheese in the States. its a fresh cheese I really don't know how its done, a few friends do it, and I use in the kitchen. for sure someone does it
Anyway you take 600 gr of swiss chard or spinach, I love swiss chard for its flavor. let it cook in a pan with some salt so it gets the water out and if not well cooked add some water. When it's cooked put some butter and a chopped onion. make it still cook so it flavors up, then you let it cool. you take 200 gr of ricotta cheese mix it with the cooked swiss chard that you cut with scissors or knife. you can add pepper, nutmeg, and salt if necessary I use little in the kirchen. add some flour 200 gr, use whatever flour you like, it really serves just to keep it together and maybe you can put less, I actually just put some in and mix it feeling the texture.
then an egg. Mix it well. you make small balls with a spoon, one at a time and pass them in the flour, then you put the ball in hot boiling water. you can put more than one ball in the water they are cooked when they come to the surface.
you put them in a baking tin (?, its so difficult to translate recipes, urghhh), something thast goes in the oven, with butter and sage, that you previously have singning in a pan ( this is a story I have to tell: in Italy we say butter sings when you put it in a pan, and it starts to sizzle, and that is when you have to take it off the fire, or put the ingredients in, and in this case sage, that you make cook for very little just has to free its flavor), pass it in the oven for five minutes with parmesan or similar on top, or you put it with tomato salsa on top and the cheese for 5/10 minutes and then eat it all up
These are called Malfatti here in Italy, and they are the filling as for the ingredients of ravioli filled pasta.
it seems long but it actually takes half an hour for that amount of swiss chard I wrote.
I tried to link a photo but nothing it doesn't work
I hear that a lot. Chard is a basket filler, but it turns off most people. Many csa would be better off with only a half full basket some weeks than a half basket of chard every week.
We freeze extra spinach, chard and kale for smoothies in the winter. We have done pesto, then froze it in icetrays for winter as well.
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Chard, like other leafy greens, can be chopped small and added to sauces, stews, and casseroles near the end of cooking time, as "stealth vegetables" for picky eaters. I find the stems need to be chopped particularly fine, and they just blend right in with no noticeable veggie taste. I generally don't cook chard on its own as a side dish, as some people are averse to a pile of cooked greens, but occasionally I cook them gently in the following broth mixture (adapted from the pan gravy recipe in the Joy of Cooking):
Cupful or so of stock and/or pan drippings
1/4 of an onion, chopped small
Spoonful of something acidic: wine, cider, lemon juice--even vinegar works, but just use a tiny amount
Spoonful of dry mustard powder
Any chopped fresh or dried herbs you fancy
I bring the broth to a simmer, chuck in the chopped greens, and let them wilt for about a minute or so, until soft. The broth doesn't need to cover the greens entirely, and you can use it as a sauce with the meal if you like, or save it in the fridge for another day. Take the greens out with a slotted spoon, and serve with a dollop of butter
There are a couple recipes for lax-fermenting the ribs of chard in Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning, one of my go-to resources when the American obsessed-with-sanitation sensibility in food handling fails me.
The stems of swiss chard are interchangeable with celery in almost any recipe! But they add color and more flavor. Also in the heat of summer, I use the leaves in exchange for lettuce, which has generally bolted already. Also as many already stated, cooked they work like any cooked greens, like collards or spinach. It is maybe one of my favorite multi purpose veggies. It will never beat out tomatoes, but instead of a BLT, why not a BST?
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WOW! Thank you SO much everyone! I might do the soup from garden betty because that seems the easiest. But I will continue to visit this thread each time my csa gives me a ton of swiss chard, which is every time lol..
I haven't used chard specifically, but I think pretty much any green can be prepared saag-style. Here's how I do mine, usually with kale and mustard:
4 tbsp butter
6 cloves garlic
a piece of ginger root, peeled, about 1" long
2 tsp garam masala
dried chilies to taste
1 lb leafy greens with woody stems removed (The pound should be measured *after* stem removal - with chard, I think the stems are tender enough to leave in.)
1 cup plain yogurt
1 tbsp salt (or so)
1 lb paneer or firm tofu or your cooked meat of choice
-Boil water in a large pot. Add the greens, and cover. Cook for 7-15 minutes, depending on the toughness of the greens in question. Don't worry too much about overcooking.
-While the greens are boiling, melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Grind together the onion, garlic, and ginger, and add to the hot pan. Cook, stirring regularly, until the paste starts to take on a golden brown color. Add the garam masala and chili, and cook for a few more minutes until the spices no longer smell raw. Turn off the burner.
-Strain the greens, reserving the cooking liquid. Return the greens to the cooking pot, turn the burner to low, and hit them with an immersion blender until the consistency looks good to you. I went with pretty smooth, but with a few chunkier bits of stem left. Stir in the onion paste, yogurt, and salt. Add back as much of the cooking liquid as is required to result in an agreeable consistency. Maybe add a tiny bit extra to allow for absorption by the protein cubes.
-Let the saag simmer, covered, over low heat while you quickly pan fry cubes of paneer or tofu or whatever. Add the protein bits to the saag and let simmer further, until you just can't wait anymore.
-Serve over seasoned basmati rice.
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