Friday, January 10, 2014

31 Days of Green: Day 10 Chard

I haven’t had todays green in a long time. We used to eat it pretty often but I guess I kind of forgot about it. Lucky for us we get a CSA box that keeps us eating fresh, local, seasonal, and sometimes new (or forgotten) produce. Swiss chard is a beautiful leafy green. It comes in a variety of colors; purple, pink, orange, yellow, and of course, many shades of green. I would definitely seek this one out at a farmers market because it taste much better when it is truly fresh. Swiss chard is tender and sweet and cooks up really fast. You can use it in stir-fry and omelets or cook it up as its own side dish. The beautiful stems are edible and super sweet. Be careful not to over cook it though as it gets unappealing when it is too soft. Like many other greens it is a good source of an array of vitamins and minerals, especially magnesium and potassium, which a lot of people are deficient in. You can read its full nutritional profile here.  

Chard doesn’t take long to cook up and that’s why I prefer this method. I always seem to overcook it in a stir-fry. Braising is a wonderful way to prepare vegetables and meats. Basically you brown it for a while and then add some liquid to “deglaze” the pan, which just means you unstick what you are cooking. Then you turn the heat up to cook off the liquid. Sometimes you can add spices and sugar and make the liquid into a glaze. I was so happy to have a little chard back into my diet and I hope you enjoy it too!

Braised Turnips and Chard

Gluten free
Serves 2

2 large turnip roots
½ bunch chard
2 tbl grass fed butter
¼ tsp salt
water or stock

Begin melting your butter in a large frying pan or skillet over medium heat. Rinse your turnips and slice into large matchsticks. Add them to the pan and do not stir. While those are cooking rinse your chard well and trim of the very ends of the stem and discard (or save for stock). Cut the rest of the stems into bite size pieces and add to the pan, stir just enough so that the chard stems are touching the bottom of the pan too (not just sitting on top of the turnips). Let it cook for 5 minutes without stirring. Cut your leaves into bite size pieces; I do this by cutting them long ways into 4 strips and then cutting those strips into little squares. Add these to the pan, after 5 minutes, and do not stir. Let the chard sit on top for about 3 more minutes. Add ¼ - ½ cup of liquid to the pan to unstick the turnips and chard stems. Stir an turn the heat up to high. Add your salt and cook until the water is gone. Remove from the heat and serve warm.


Notes and Substitutions

  • You can use coconut oil but of course the butter taste better!
  • This is also good with some shallots; I just forgot to add them in. If you like add sliced shallot in with the turnips.
  • You can be creative with the liquid and type of stock will work but orange juice would be tasty too. I just used water this time.

How do you like chard? Is there any green you’ve forgotten about and then remembered you really like it?

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