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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.

              2. "chard balls" - croquettes. sautee chard , add plenty of garlic and onions.
                let cool. add breadcrumbs, parm, feta,egg or two, roll into balls or patties, and bake on sprayed or oiled pan for at 350 for 35-40 min , Great side dish or main course. .

                1. I tear it into little pieces, toss it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic spread thinly over a sheet pan and roast in a 400 degree oven. Then I serve it with fresh tomatoes, bit of parmesan, and pasta.

                    1. You can make chard rolls with the larger leaves, like cabbage rolls.

                      It goes well with pasta, too. Sautée it with garlic and chili flakes (possibly some anchovies, if you like them - my dad does this), then stir in the cooked pasta and a little cooking water. Heat through and eat with grated Romano cheese (or broken up feta). Some variations: stir in toasted breadcrumbs and/or sliced black olives.

                        1. This is delicious with either kale or chard. Saute a large sliced onion and some chopped garlic in several tbsps olive oil. Stir in a tsp or 2 of smoked Spanish paprika (can use sweet or hot or add some cayenne to sweet) - cook another minute or so. Add a bunch of coarsely chopped chard , salt to taste, cook until softened. Add a can of white beans,undrained (really - the starchy liquid creates a thicker sauce), or equivalent amount of cooked beans with some cooking liquid - cook partially covered until chard is consistency you like. Add water or broth (or some pasta cooking water if using over pasta) to make it as saucy as you like.

                          1. Chard is great with salmon and Asian flavorings.

                            Salmon for 2 (preferably a thick skinless fillet)
                            juice of a lemon
                            2 tsp soy sauce
                            2 tsp toasted sesame oil
                            1 bunch Swiss chard
                            olive oil
                            thinly sliced red onion crescents and thinly sliced garlic

                            Cut salmon into small pieces at a 45-degree angle. Marinate in lemon juice, soy and sesame oil while preparing chard. Wash chard, chop stems and slice leaves. Sauté onions in olive oil until soft, then add garlic for 1 minute. Add chard stems and 2 to 3 T. water, cover and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chard leaves, cover and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring. Remove. Sauté salmon very briefly in a little more oil. Add marinade to warm through and serve salmon and “sauce” over chard.

                            1. Might your family like it if you added a fistful of pine nuts and raisins to your saute? That's from Madison's Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone - Spinach Catalan style of something like that. I use chard instead of spinach at times.
                              Another one from the same book is Swiss Chard and Onion Omelet (Trouchia). That is pretty good too.

                              1. My favorite chard recipe is a chard-ricotta tart. A homemade crust ... chard, onions, proscuitto, eggs, lots of dill and a little nutmeg.

                                In a pinch you could use a pre-made crust or substitute ham for the proscuitto. I have been known to make this as a one crust tart ... and also as a two crust American style pie. If you decide to make the pie, don't be afraid to make it extra filling!