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Jun 22, 2007 07:15 PM

What to do with lots of chard?

I got a lot of gorgeous rainbow chard from my CSA this week. My usual prep is to sautee with garlic and olive oil and then add a dash of lemon juice at the end. Unfortunately, no one else in my family likes it this way. My other typical use is to put in a soup with chick peas or white beans. I might do that, but am lookin for other ideas. Suggestions?

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  1. You can treat it like spinach and use in dishes like creamed spinach, and all the wonderful stuffed pastas and stuffed baked goods that use spinach (quiche, in phyllo etc) . Just either cut the green off the "backbone" and save that for other uses, or cook it finely diced separately to make sure it is done.

    1. I love it like you do. I have found, however, that people who are not as into it like it this way:

      Slice the chard about twice the size of matchsticks... it doesn't have to be exact, you could tear it, even. Then, cook it with chopped onion, garlic (chopped or slivered) and chopped parsley. (You could also add chopped tomatoes.) Then toss it with fresh cooked pasta and grated parmesean or pecorino. There are a number of variations, such as adding butter or a little chicken broth or other herbs. You could also add other greens, such as spinach or turnip greens or, as I often do, beet greens. Chard is really wonderful this way as a 'pasta sauce'.

      1. I like it pan-steamed and then stirred into a cream of broccoli soup with plenty of spices thrown in. Add some roast turkey breast on the side and you have the makings of a very healthy meal.

        1. There's always the pannade from the Zuni cookbook. It's a bit wintry, but delicious nonetheless. It's chopped chard, toasted stale bread cubes, gruyere cheese and chicken broth baked until all melted together into a delicious glop. I'm sure the recipe was posted when Zuni was cookbook of the month if you're interested.

          Me, I love it any way it's prepared, but it's great in soups, like lentil, shredded.

          2 Replies
          1. re: oakjoan

            After being quickly blanched, it is lovely wrapped thickly around a meat of some kind, could be fish, chicken or tenderloin of any kind, and then again wrapped in proscuitto,phyllo or puff pastry.

            1. re: oakjoan

              Yes, ditto. The Zuni panade is really fantastic. It's like a semi-solid onion soup--silky, comforting and delicious.

              That and other chard recipes call for removing the stems, which would sit in my fridge, wilt, and eventually get thrown out. More recently, with Marcella Hazan's trusty guidance, I've been trimming the stems, cutting them into 2 inch or so pieces and boiling them until tender. Saute with some garlic, add salt, pepper, a squeeze of lemon. Great plain, or with wheatberries or other grains.

            2. In Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, there's a great recipe for a chard pie (though she doesn't call it that, it's called something like green something tart, and I would look it up for you but I loaned out my cookbook). You bascially saute the chard like above, but then you combine it with some herbs, some sauteed onion (I think), a few eggs, some cheese and some milk, and bake it in a double pie crust. It's not quite a quiche, because it's not very custardy, the eggs and milk are just there for binder, and it's a really excellent dish. You could probably improvise with the above directions, and do fine, just make sure you use lots of chard for it.

              2 Replies
              1. re: JasmineG

                It's Green Herb Tart, p. 493. This is a good dish! Madison also has a recipe for a chard gratin in Local Flavors that we really, really like.

                I like serving my braised greens with cannelini beans but not as a soup. I add chopped tomatoes or roasted peppers and some goat cheese or feta.

                You could make swiss chard omelettes or frittatas. Sauteed chard is great with pine nuts and raisins.

                Oh, and for all of these dishes I would use the stems too.

                1. re: debbiel

                  Thanks for looking it up for me! I knew it was Green something. I didn't love the yeasted crust that she has you make for it, I'd just use a normal savory pie crust recipe.