April 29 Swiss Chard

Some Serious Swiss Chard

 

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How pretty is chard? I’ve been cooking with Swiss chard ever since I started participating in my CSA, and this week, it was the best I’ve ever had it. Leafy greens are so freaking good for you but I don’t like the bitter taste they can have if not cooked properly. Here’s what I did this time for non-bitter leafy greens:

  1. Wash chard but don’t dry it
  2. Cut off the stems and as much of the tough middle part as possible
  3. Roll up the leaves, and slice each “roll” semi-thinly
  4. Coat a pan with oil spray and heat over medium heat.
  5. Add chard, cook until it starts to wilt. Season with Bragg’s Liquid Aminos, balsamic vinegar, and lemon juice—a splash each.
  6. Keep cooking until it’s tender…this time, I “overcooked” it, and discovered I liked it better this way.

I didn’t take a photo because it wasn’t very pretty, but it was good! I’ll have to remember this method in the future.

General Swiss Chard Info

Source: Whole Foods

Selecting
Always look for crisp leaves with vibrant color. Yellowing is a sign of age and indicates that the greens may have an off flavor. Young, leafy greens generally have small, tender leaves and a mild flavor. Many mature plants have tougher leaves and stronger flavors. Choose mild-flavored greens such as chard when you want their flavor to blend well with other ingredients in your dish. Swiss chard is best from the spring through the fall.

Storing
Most greens can be stored in the refrigerator for several days. Store chard in a perforated plastic bag. Using greens with similar texture can be used interchangeably in recipes, though they will impart slightly different flavors. One pound of fresh, untrimmed greens will typically serve two to three people. While this may look like a lot when raw, a significant portion of the plant (stems and ribs) will be discarded and most greens shrink considerably when cooked. To prepare greens for washing, cut off the stems and discard any bruised leaves.

Bunches of greens that are especially sandy may require several soakings. Curls and grooves on the leaves can hide bits of sand, so be thorough even if the greens look clean. Drain the greens in a colander and chop or slice them according to recipe directions.

Nutrition Information
Greens provide a wide array of nutrients including fiber, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, folic acid and chlorophyll (the green pigment found in plant cells). From NY Times: Chard is a nutritional powerhouse, a superb source of calcium and potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene, as well as two carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin), which some studies have indicated can help protect the eyes against vision problems such as macular degeneration and cataracts.

Swiss Chard Recipes to Try
Lasagna With Chard, Tomato Sauce and Ricotta
Sautéed Swiss Chard with Red Onion and Serrano Chile Vinegar (omit the bacon for a Healthy Twist!)
Roasted Garbanzo Beans and Garlic with Swiss Chard

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