Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Summer Chard Deliciousness

One Summer we planted too much chard and kale. In addition to chard in salads, on pizza, in green smoothies, etc... I'm trying for some amazing chard recipes. 

What do you like to use it for?

Here are two of my latest concoctions:

Sauteed Rainbow Chard w/ Summer Veggies
1-2 Tbl butter
1 medium purple onion
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow summer squash
a lot of rainbow chard
assortment of garden herbs (I like dill, basil, cilantro combo)
(good) olive oil
(good) balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
Parmigiano reggiano (for rough grating)

melt butter in a cast iron (or other) skillet on mid heat until foaming subsides.
chop onion and add to butter. Saute on med to med-high heat until browned and nearly caramelized, about 10 mins.
adjust to med-high heat.
Chop red bell and saute with onion until nearly soft (about 3-5 mins)
Chop yellow squash and saute with onion and bells until nearly soft.
(by keeping the heat mid-high on the above, veggies get saute w/o getting mushy)
Wash and chop chard, including stalks. Add to skillet with minced garden herbs and fold/saute w/ rainbow veggies.
When Chard is wilted and tender, add in balsamic, a few swooshes around the pan (1/4 cup?). Let reduce slightly.
Salt and pepper to taste.
Remove from head, drizzle w/ a couple Tbl of finishing olive oil and freshly shredded parm.
Let rest until parm is slightly softened.
Serve immediately, or eat all week.

I like to eat this with grilled meat or fish. I also like to do a few variations... first, cook up 3-5 strips of bacon and caramelize the onion in the grease. Then crumble the bacon over the top. And/OR, add in chopped hard boiled egg for the protein.

Chard Pesto
lots of chard (4 cups)
handful of cilantro and/or parsley or basil (or a mix)
Olive Oil
Shredded Parmesan
garlic, minced

lightly toast walnuts in a pan and set aside.
Add chard, herbs & garlic to Cuisinart or immersion blender.
While it's running, add in steady stream of olive oil until consistency of peanut butter is reached.
Rough chop cooled walnuts and add to mixture while running.
Add parm while running.
Add more oil until consistency of yogurt is reached.
While running add in a few teaspoons of salt, to taste.
To preserve, keep some in an old parm container in fridge. Freeze the rest in waxed paper in the bottom of a pie pan or bread pan so it's about 1-2" thick. When frozen, chop into 2"x2" squares. Put squares into a freezer bag and pull them out of the freezer as needed.

I like to make it a bit salty in this concentration, as that mellows out when the pesto is added to pasta, pasted on fish, or spread on pizza.