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Sep 18, 2006 11:03 PM

Chary of chard

I am seeking healthy preparations of those highly-recommended "green, leafy vegetables" (i.e., no slow cooking in rendered bacon fat). I've hard great chard dishes in Italian restaurants but can't seem to replicate at home. Any suggestions appreciated.

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  1. I saute chard in olive oil with a little lemon juice, a little broth, and a lot of garlic. If you are cooking the stems, those should go in before the leaves, which obviously cook much faster. I've never thought of chard as a tricky vegetable to prepare, but perhaps I've never had it prepared the way you have experienced in Italian restaurants.

    1. A variation on the above method: soften some thinly sliced onion in the olive oil for a few minutes, then proceed as above. If you rinse the chard under the tap and *don't* dry it off but just put it into the pan with whatever water is still clinging to it, that plus the onions may give off enough liquid (in a covered pan) so you can omit the stock.

      1. Here's an Italian Recipe for Baked Chard It's Good!!!

        1 large bunch Swiss chard
        3/4-teaspoon salt
        3/4-cup olive oil
        2 medium onions, thinly sliced
        1 tablespoon Italian parsley, chopped
        2 medium cloves garlic, chopped
        4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
        2 eggs, beaten
        a few twists of the pepper mill
        2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
        1/2 Cup Unseasoned breadcrumb

        Preheat oven to 375 degrees

        Remove die white stalks from the bottom of the chard and reserve for another use. Wash and shred the leaves. Place in a deep pot with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and cook, covered, over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring often. (No additional water is needed, as the chard will cook with whatever is clinging to the leaves.) Transfer to a strainer and squeeze dry. In a deep skillet, add the oil, heat over medium heat and add the onions. Cook until wilted and about to turn color. Add the parsley, garlic, chard, and the mushrooms, and cook 4 to 5 minutes more. Transfer to a bowl and cool. You can do this quickly by stirring the mixture in the bowl constantly for a few Minutes. Add the eggs, Parmesan cheese, the remaining 1/2-teaspoon salt and the fresh milled pepper. Oil a baking dish, just large enough to hold the chard. Sprinkle a light layer of breadcrumb into the bottom of the dish. Transfer the chard to the baking dish, sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumb and bake, Uncovered, about 20 minutes. Serve hot

        2 Replies
        1. re: Chas

          This looks great, but can I reduce the 3/4 c olive oil to something more like 1/4 c?

          1. re: dordogne

            LOL!! I'm Feelin' Ya!!! I really only make this for special meals. Its not an every day thing. You could try it with less but I have to say that you really don't know it has that much olive oil in it. The chard really absorbs it. If you try it with that much less it will probably be on the dry side. But it would seem worth a try. By the way it is excellent with roasted meats OR a rich pasta dish such as Lasagna or Ravioli.

        2. I love greens in a frittata.

          They're also great as stuffing for strudels and calzones, both of which can be made healthy.

          Cook onions until soft, then add the greens and whatever seasoning you like. Toss in some toasted pine nuts. For a strudel, layer phyllo dough sprayed with cooking spray, put the greens in the middle and wrap. For a calzone, use pizza dough instead. Bake until the dough is done and the filling is hot.

          1. Had some today. Used a slow cooker, salt, pepper, oil oil, garlic and little bet of chicken stock. Turned out great.