Saturday, June 6, 2015

RECIPE: Swiss chard tips and tricks

To store and prep your chard:

•Remove any elastic bands and store chard in a bag in your fridge.  Chard’s length makes it awkward to store (sometimes the fridge door shelves work well). If space is an issue, you can separate the leaves from the stalks before storing.

•Keep chard away from the coldest spots in your fridge -- when the leaves get too cold, they turn black and wither.

•To clean, soak the chard in a large bowl of cold water for at least five minutes to allow the dirt to settle. If you are going to eat it raw, spin it dry; otherwise, just give it a shake or allow it to drain in a colander. A little water will help the chard steam a bit when you cook it.

•Because each cooks at a different rate, you'll need to separate the stems and leaves: With one hand, grasp the leaves where they meet the stem, grasp the stem with the other hand, and gently pull the stem away from the leaves.

•Chard will keep well in the fridge for about a week. Revive tired-looking leaves in a bowl of cold water with a splash of vinegar. After 20 minutes or so, the leaves should perk up.

•Raw chard can also be added directly to soups and stews or thrown in a quiche: For a quiche baked in standard 9- or 10-inch pie plate or tart pan, coarsely chop a cup of chard and add it directly to the custard.

•Chard is delicious simply sautéed with olive oil, garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté sliced onions with chopped chard stems until tender, add garlic and pepper flakes, then add chopped greens and a pinch of salt to the pan. Cover the pan for a few minutes to allow the leaves to wilt, then uncover and allow any liquid to cook off. Finish with a squeeze of lemon or splash of vinegar. This makes a nice side dish, or can be added to pasta, lasagna, strata, etc. To spruce up sautéed chard, add sautéed apples, toasted pine nuts, and raisins, Catalan-style.

No comments: