Quick and Easy Chard Sauté

rainbow chardSeparate the stems of one bunch chard from the leaves. Cut the leaves into thin strips and set aside. Thinly slice the stems.

Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium heat. Stir in 2 cloves sliced garlic, a pinch red pepper flakes, and chard stems, and cook for 3 minutes until the flavor of the garlic mellows and the stems begin to soften. Stir in the shredded chard leaves, cover, and cook 5 minutes over medium-low heat. Stir, recover, and continue cooking until the chard is tender. Toss with 1 tsp. lemon juice to serve.

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Swiss Chard and Bacon Pasta

red chard bunched

Ah, the vibrant beauty of chard.

1 pound linguine
12 ounces bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices
1 large red onion, halved, sliced (about 6 cups)
2 large bunches Swiss chard, stemmed, chopped (about 12 cups)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Cook linguine in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in heavy large pot over medium heat until beginning to crisp, about 10 minutes. Let cool on paper towels. Drain all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings from skillet. Add onions to drippings and sauté over medium-high heat until softened, about 7 minutes. Add Swiss chard and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Add pasta cooking liquid to skillet. Toss until chard is wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle vinegar over and cook 1 minute more.

Add linguine and oil to sauce in pot and toss to coat. Transfer to large bowl. Sprinkle with bacon and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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Stuffed Chard Leaves

rainbow chard

Did some of your chard get away from you and is now a little wilted? Here’s a fancy way to turn it into a culinary showpiece!

16 chard leaves, slightly wilted or blanched
1/2 cup chopped green onions
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
1 cup feta cheese
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
3/4 cup raisins
1 teaspoon chopped fresh dill
1/4 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons oil

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove ribs from chard leaves and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix together green onions, rice, feta, cottage cheese, egg, parsley, raisins, dill, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Lay chard leaves with underside up and place 2 tablespoons filling on each leaf, one-third up from bottom of leaf. Fold over sides and roll into a square packet. Place seam side down in a greased casserole dish. Do the same for all leaves and brush lightly with oil when all packets are in the casserole dish. Cover and bake for 30 minutes. Bake any extra leftover filling and serve as a side dish. Serves 4 to 6 people.

We thank The City Gardener’s Cookbook: Recipes from Seattle’s P-Patches for this recipe.

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Three-Minute Swiss Chard

yellow rainbow chard

This simple side dish is an easy way to enjoy this nutrient packed vegetable alongside most any dish you are making.

1 pound Swiss chard, chopped
1 medium clove garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and black pepper to taste

Optional Additions:
6 kalamata olives
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 teaspoon soy sauce

Chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out its health-promoting properties. Use a large pot (3 quart) with lots of water. Make sure water is at a rapid boil before adding Swiss chard. Cut off tough bottom part of Swiss chard stems. Add the chopped leaves to the boiling water. Do not cover. Cook for 3 minutes; begin timing as soon as you drop the Swiss chard into the boiling water. Place in colander and press out excess water.
Transfer to serving dish and toss with rest of ingredients while it is still hot. Using a knife and fork, cut Swiss chard into small pieces for better flavor.

We thank The World’s Healthiest Foods for this recipe.

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Sausage Bean Pasta Ragout

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound Nash’s ground pork sausage
2 14-ounce cans diced tomatoes in juice
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups cooked beans (kidney, pinto, black)
4 teaspoons dried basil, or 1 cup fresh
3 teaspoons oregano
Crushed red pepper, to taste
1/2 cup macaroni
2 cups fresh greens (kale/chard/spinach/arugula/cabbage)
1/3 cup grated romano cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: grated beets, carrot, and turnips

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté 6 minutes. Add sausage and sauté until brown, breaking up meat with back of fork, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes with juice, broth, beans, basil, oregano, and dried crushed red pepper. (Optional: add grated beets, carrot, and turnips too!) Simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors, stirring occasionally. Add pasta and cook until tender but still firm to bite, about 15 more minutes. Add greens and cook just until wilted, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Mix in 1/3 cup cheese and more fresh basil, if you have some. Season ragout with salt and pepper; ladle into bowls. Serve, passing additional cheese separately.

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Triticale and Squash Risotto

winter squash: delicata, sweet meat, sugar pie pumpkin, lower salmon river

Which squash is your favorite in triticale risotto? Let us know in the comments below!

2 cups triticale berries, soaked for at least 8 hours and drained thoroughly
1 tablespoon butter, melted
1 medium butternut, acorn or delicata squash, peeled, seeded and diced
2 x 14-1/2-ounce cans chicken broth
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
1/2 cup white wine
3/4 pound winter greens (kale, chard, collards), trimmed and leaves chopped
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 425 degrees F. Cover triticale with fresh water and boil for 20 minutes. Drizzle melted butter over squash on a jelly roll pan; toss. Bake 25-35 minutes or until tender and browned. Bring broth and water to a simmer in a saucepan. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot; add onions and cook 4-6 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add wine and cook 1 minute more. Stir in drained triticale and cook until wine is absorbed. Reduce heat to medium and gradually add broth mixture half a cup at a time, stirring, until liquid is absorbed and triticale is tender, 12-17 minutes. Stir in the squash, greens, thyme, salt, pepper and nutmeg; cook, stirring, 4-5 minutes or until greens are tender. Stir in grated parmesan. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.

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Chard Galette

rainbow chard

A galette is an open-faced savory pastry, perfect for a dinner party or for the holidays.

1 cup Nash’s soft white flour
1 cup Nash’s hard red or triticale flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 sticks butter, frozen, then grated
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 cup ricotta cheese
Salt
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic or 1 garlic scape, finely chopped
1 large bunch rainbow chard, ribs and stems removed, leaves cut into bite-size pieces
Flour for parchment
1 large egg, beaten to blend
1 cup mixed fresh cilantro and basil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
Salt

Pulse flours and salt in a food processor to combine. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal with a few pea-size pieces of butter remaining.

Transfer mixture to a large bowl; drizzle with vinegar and 1/4 cup ice water. Mix with a fork, adding more ice water by the tablespoonful if needed, just until a shaggy dough comes together; lightly knead until no dry spots remain (do not overwork). Pat into a disk and wrap in plastic. Chill at least 2 hours. Dough can be made 2 days ahead, but keep it chilled.

Preheat oven to 400°F. Season ricotta with salt and pepper; set aside. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown and crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in same skillet over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add half of chard, season with salt and pepper, and cook, tossing, until slightly wilted. Add remaining chard and cook, tossing occasionally, until completely wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured sheet of parchment to a 14″ round about 1/8″ thick. Transfer on parchment to a baking sheet. Spread three-fourths of ricotta over dough, leaving a 1 1/2″ border. Top with reserved chard, then mushrooms. Dollop remaining ricotta over vegetables. Bring edges of dough up and over filling, overlapping as needed, to create a 1 1/2″ border; brush with egg. Bake galette, rotating once, until crust is golden brown and cooked through, 35–40 minutes. Let cool slightly on baking sheet.

Toss herbs with lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a small bowl; season with pepper. Top galette with herbs, zest, and salt.

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Rainbow Chard with Pine Nuts, Garlic and Basil

rainbow chard, bunched

Add brilliant color to your meal with rainbow chard.

1 large bunch rainbow chard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (8 to 10 large leaves)

Cut the stems from the chard leaves. Cut the leaves into 2- to 3-inch pieces and wash and dry them well. Rinse the stems and slice them crosswise 1/4-inch thick.

In a 12-inch stir-fry pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible.

Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the chard stems and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrunken and beginning to brown lightly, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the chard leaves and salt. Toss with tongs until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, add the cold butter pieces and stir just until the butter has melted.

Using tongs, immediately transfer about half of the leaves and stems to a serving plate and arrange. Sprinkle on half of the Parmesan, basil, and pine nuts. Layer on the remaining leaves, stems, and pan juices, and garnish with the remaining cheese, basil, and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

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Chard — An Antioxident Powerhouse

rainbow chard, bunchced, on display

Rainbow chard stalks stay vibrant even after you cook them!

Humans should eat a variety of plants and get nutrients from a wide mix of sources. Lots of vegetables contain similar phytonutrient and antioxidant properties, but each will have these nutrients in a unique combination. Chard has a nutrient profile that makes it a powerhouse among veggies.

Chard has about 13 different antioxidants, including a polyphenol called kaempferol, a flavonoid also found in broccoli, kale, and strawberries, known for benefiting the cardiovascular system. But chard also has a flavonoid called syringic acid, which has blood sugar regulating properties, enabling blood sugar to stay more steady. So chard helps with blood sugar control and benefits the entire cardiovascular system.

Chard also has betalains, as do beets. Betalains provide anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. To get the full spectrum of betalains, you would need to eat red beets and golden beets. Chard does the job of both. It’s also an excellent source of vitamins K, A, and C, and provides lots of magnesium, potassium, iron and dietary fiber.

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Pickled Chard Stems

rainbow chard stalks

Not sure what to do with chard stems? Pickle them!

Many people like to lightly steam chard greens for their health benefits. But don’t throw the stems away! Once pickled, they can be added to salads or sandwiches, or just munched as is.

1 pound chard stems (from about 4 bunches), cut into 4″ lengths
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1/4 cup salt
2 tablespoons Nash’s black mustard seeds
1 tablespoon caraway seeds
1 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/2 cup sugar

Toss the chard stems and shallot slices in the salt and let them stand in a colander in a sink for 1 hour. Rinse and drain well.

Meanwhile, toast the mustard and caraway seeds in a small skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until mustard seeds begin to pop, about 2 minutes. Let cool.

Bring the vinegar, sugar, and 1 cup water to a boil in a small saucepan; let cool slightly. Pour brine into jars. Let cool slightly, add chard stems, shallots, and seeds, then cover and chill for 24 hours. They will last for a couple of weeks in the refrigerator.

We thank epicurious.com for this recipe.

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