Sunday, April 25, 2010

yummy swiss chard

swiss chard? what the heck is that? and moreover, who the heck buys this stuff?

apparently, i do. i belong to a produce co-op and i've gotten this in my basket a few times. at first, i was totally overwhelmed with it, but this saturday i had to restrain myself from asking someone if they wanted to trade their swiss chard for my romaine lettuce. or the bunch of spinach that i got.

swiss chard is kind of like spinach - earthy, yet delicious. however, it has a stalk that is much like rhubarb. the best way to cook it is to remember that it's really TWO vegetables in one: the stalk and the leaves.

so i found this recipe on the internet...and i gave it a go. it turned out spectacular, and i'm sharing it with you today. it also uses one of my absolute favorite cooking techniques: roasting. i love roasting so much that i'll even do it in july, when having a hot oven going in the kitchen is one of the worst things ever.

best ever swiss chard

*1 bunch swiss chard, cleaned - remove the leaves from the stalks and chop the stalks into 1/2 inch pieces. you can leave the leaves whole, or rip them into smaller pieces
*2 T extra virgin olive oil
*kosher salt
*1 T heavy cream (secret tip: milk works fine if you don't have cream or want to buy it.)
*1/4 to 1/2 C grated parmesan (please don't use that powdered crap)

preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. prepare the chard. it will look like a ton of chard, but it will shrink a bunch during cooking. put just the stems in a 9x13 baking dish (or whatever you have) and drizzle with half of the olive oil. sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. roast for about 20 minutes. remove the pan from the oven and place the leaves on top of the stems. drizzle with the remaining olive oil, and season again with kosher salt and pepper. roast until the leaves wilt - about 5 minutes.

remove the pan from the oven and toss the leaves with the stems with a pair of tongs. stir in the cream and test the seasonings. adjust as necessary. sprinkle with the parmesan and return to the oven until the cheese melts, about another 5 minutes.

this will serve 2-3 as a side dish. your kids will likely turn their nose up at it, but they make like it, especially if you make a contest out of it or something.

let me know if you make this...and if you like it.