SWISS CHARD

Beta vulgaris

Spinach used to be my favorite green, and then I met chard, which is extremely flavorful, easy to cook, and filled with much more nutrition.  If you haven’t eaten chard before, you are in for a BIG treat!  Chard is the ancestor of the beet root, and contrary to its name, it originated in the Mediterranean.  It’s high in vitamins A, E, and C, with minerals, iron, and calcium that are more easily digestible than those in spinach because of chard’s lack of oxalic acid.  Wrap your chard in a damp towel or plastic bag  and keep in the hydrater drawer of the fridge for 2 to 4 days.  We’ve kept ours for a week or more, but it’s best to use it sooner.  Make sure to use the stems in your cooking; they are flavorful and nutritious.  Just add them a bit sooner than the greens so they will have a longer time to cook.

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Sonya’s Sauteed Swiss Chard

1 bunch chard, washed and chopped (keep stems seperate from greens)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp toasted sesame oil

In a hot wok or large skillet add olive oil and stems of the chard.  Saute for 2 to 5 minutes.  Lower the temperature to medium and add soy sauce and the greens, continue cooking for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and cook 1-2 minutes more.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  Drizzle sesame oil on top and mix well.  Serve immediately.

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Beans and Greens
Based on a recipe from From Asparagus to Zucchini

3 cups black-eyed peas
butter or oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp thyme
2-3 bay leaves
1 large bunch of chard (kale works great, too)
salt and pepper

Put peas on to cook in water.  Heat a little butter or oil in a skillet.  Add onions and garlic; saute with thyme and bay leaves until tender.  After cooking peas 1/2 hour, add the onion mixture and chopped greens.  Cook 1/2 hour longer.  Remove bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Makes 8-12 servings.

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Green Miso Soup
From The Breakaway Vegetarian Cook:  An Umami-Intensive Journey into Vegetables by Eric Gower

2 Tbsp grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
1 cup onion, thinly sliced
4 cups vegetable broth or water
4 cups chopped chard leaves (trim them from their ribs first, reserving the ribs)
3 heaping Tbsp white or yellow miso
1 cup chopped chard ribs and stems
2 Tbsp breadcrumbs

Warm 1 tablespoon of oil in a pot over medium-high heat.  Add onion, and saute for a few minutes until softened.  Add the broth, and bring to a simmer.  Add the chard leaves, and cook for 3 minutes.  Add the miso, and transfer the mixture to a blender.  Carefully blend until smooth (in 2 batches if necessary).  Warm the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small frying pan over high heat, and add the chard ribs.  Add the breadcrumbs, and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until they begin to crisp up, 1-2 minutes.  Serve in warmed bowls, and top with chard pieces and breadcrumbs.  Makes 4 servings.

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