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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Have You Tried Swiss Chard?

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Last week, I added rainbow swiss chard to my growing container garden. It won't be ready for at least another 2 months, I think. So in the meantime, I will have to rely on Ontario farmers for my swiss chard fix.

I know that you've seen this beauty in the supermarket. It's one of those greens that sit by the cabbages, collards and kale aka the healthy and under appreciated vegetable aisle at the supermarket. You walk past it week after week without a second glance. But maybe this week it will be different?

Swiss chard is always a deep rich green leaf though its stem may come in an assortment of colours from creamy whites to golden saffron to ruby reds. The flavour is intensely earthy kind of like beet greens or spinach. It's fantastic alongside grilled meat. (I like it with hot Italian turkey sausage.)

When purchasing swiss chard choose a bunch that has ruffled leaves that holdes its shape and slender but firm stems.

Oh, and did I mention it's delicious? Next time, you're at the supermarket or at the farmer's market... check it out by trying this recipe from Marcus Sammuelson's cookbook, The Soul of A New Cuisine. (I am working my way through his cookbook, and it's superb!)

This recipe is a great way to acquaint yourself with this fine, invigorating vegetable.

Creamed Swiss Chard
Adapted from Soul of a New Cuisine by Marcus Sammuelson

2 tbsp vegetable oil
1 medium onion - roughly chopped
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 c shredded cabbage
1 pinch turmeric
1 c cream
1/2 c water
1 bunch swiss chard
1/2 c buttermilk
dusting of nutmeg
2 tsp salt (or to taste)

1. Heat oil in a large deep fry pan
2. Add onion & ginger until onion softens and ginger is fragrant
3. Add cabbage and turmeric. Stir and cook until cabbage softens.
4. Add cream and water and cook on medium heat for about ten minutes.
5. Meanwhile, trim and roughly chop swiss chard into bite sized pieces.
6. Toss swiss chard into pan and cook until chard is reduced. (Like spinach, it cooks down substantially)
7. Turn off heat and stir in buttermilk, dusting of nutmeg and salt. Adjust seasonings as required.
...Read more
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