About Chard

Despite have a long list of names around the world including perpetual spinach, bright lights, and swiss chard, chard is not related to spinach or any other standard green we cook with in America; Chard is a cousin of the beetroot. Chard comes in several varieties that mostly change the color of the stems, but all produce delicious, nutrient-rich leaves. Chard, like most greens, can be cooked in a bunch of different ways. You can boil, steam, saute, or braise them. And the stems are edible too! Just be sure you start cooking your stems before the leaves because they will take a few more minutes to cook.


Garlicky Swiss Chard


from The New York Times

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

  • 2 bunches Swiss chard, stems removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • Large pinch crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt

Stack chard leaves on top of one another (you can make several piles) and slice them into 1/4-inch strips.

Heat oil in a very large skillet (or use a soup pot). Add garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for 30 seconds, until garlic is fragrant. Stir in the chard, coating it in oil. Cover pan and let cook for about 2 minutes, until chard is wilted. Uncover, stir and cook for 2 minutes longer. Season with salt.

Moroccan Chickpeas with Chard


from The New York Times

Yield: 6-8 servings

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Spanish onions, chopped
  • 1 large jalapeño pepper, seeded if desired, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 ½ teaspoons kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Pinch of cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 fennel bulb, diced (save fronds for garnish)
  • 1 very large bunch chard, stems sliced 1/2-inch thick, leaves torn into bite-size pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 large turnip, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound dried chickpeas, soaked overnight in water to cover or quick-soaked (see note)
  • ⅓ cup diced dried apricots
  • 2 tablespoons chopped preserved lemon, more to taste
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro, more for garnish

Heat oil in a large pot over high heat. Add onion and jalapeño and sauté until limp, 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, salt, turmeric, paprika, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper and cayenne and sauté until they release their fragrance, about 2 minutes. Add tomato paste and sauté for another minute, until darkened but not burned. (If tomato paste looks too dark too quickly, lower heat.)

Add fennel, chard stems, carrot and turnip and continue to sauté until vegetables start to soften, about 10 minutes. Add chickpeas and water to barely cover.

Return heat to high if you lowered it and bring to a simmer. Partly cover pot, lower heat to medium low, and simmer for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, until chickpeas are softened. Add more water if needed (this should be like a stew).

Add chard leaves, apricots and preserved lemon to pot and continue simmering until chard is tender, about 5 minutes longer. Season with more salt if desired, and serve garnished with cilantro and reserved fennel fronds.

Creamed Chard and Spring Onions


from Smitten Kitchen

  • 1 1-pound bunch Swiss chard, thick stems removed and leaves sliced into ribbons
  • 3 spring onions, ends trimmed, white and some green parts sliced into thin coins
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper

Wash your chard, but no need to dry it, just place it in a large pot over high heat. Cook, covered, with just the water clinging to leaves, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 6 minutes.

Press or squeeze out the excess liquid any number of ways, either by wringing it out in cheesecloth (my favorite method), putting it in a mesh strainer and pressing the moisture out with a spatula or large spoon or letting it cool long enough to grab small handfuls and squeezing them to remove as much water as possible.

Wipe out the large pot so you can use it again. Heat milk or cream in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until warm. Keep warm. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic, if using, in butter in your wiped-out large pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about six minutes. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, about three minutes. Add warm milk or cream in a slow stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer, whisking, until thickened, three to four minutes. Stir in chard, then salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through.

Seared Shrimp with Chard, Chiles, and Ginger


from The New York Times

Cooking Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 4 servings

  • 1 ½ pounds cleaned extra-large shrimp
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, more for seasoning the shrimp
  • 2 bunches red or rainbow chard, rinsed (about 1 pound)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 hot chile like Thai or Hungarian wax, seeded if desired and thinly sliced
  • 1 long mild or sweet chile like Italian frying, thinly sliced
  • 1 shallot, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
  • 2 teaspoons light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons sherry vinegar, to taste
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves

Season shrimp generously with salt. Wash and trim chard, thinly slicing the stems.

In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon of the oil, then add shrimp and sear until lightly browned, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons oil to the skillet, let heat for a few seconds, then add garlic, chile peppers, shallot and ginger and sauté until slightly browned, about 3 minutes. Stir in sugar, pepper and salt and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in chard stems and sauté until they start to soften, about 2 minutes.

Add the greens to the skillet along with 2 tablespoons water and immediately cover the pan. Keep it covered for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the greens to wilt. Once the greens have cooked down, remove the lid and continue cooking for a few more minutes to allow the water to evaporate. Add the shrimp and any liquid accumulated on the plate and cook just until the shrimp are heated through, about 1 minute longer. Drizzle with the sherry vinegar and gently toss to coat. Serve hot, garnished with the cilantro.

White Chard Stew


from 101 Cookbooks

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

Yield: 10 servings

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
5 celery stalks, chopped
  • 4 medium cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 medium new potatoes, cut into 1/4-inch chunks
  • 2 medium carrots and/or (equivalent) delicata squash, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups chopped tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 pound / 4 ounces chard, stems and leaves well chopped
  • 4 cups / 22 oz cooked white beans
1/4 pound / 4 oz / crustless loaf of bread
  • 2 teaspoons fine grain sea salt
  • grated Parmesan cheese

To serve: ancho chile relish, chopped preserved lemon, basil oil or pesto, or a dab of tapenade…

In your largest thick-bottomed pot over medium heat combine the olive oil, celery, garlic, potatoes, carrot (and/or squash), and onion. Cook for 10 minutes, sweating the vegetables, but avoid any browning.

Stir in the tomatoes and red pepper flakes, and simmer for a few minutes. Stir in most of the chard, 3 cups of the beans, and 8 cups / 2 liters water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer until the greens are tender, about 15 minutes.

In the meantime, smash or puree the remaining beans with a generous splash of water – until smooth. And then, tear the bread into bite-sized chunks. Stir both the beans and bread into the soup. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the bread breaks down and the soup thickens, 10 -15 minutes. Stir in the salt, taste and add more if needed.

Serve immediately, or cool and refrigerate overnight. Ladle into bowls and top with shredded Parmesan, the remaining chard, and as few, or as many, toppings as you like.

Stuffed Peppers with Red Rice, Chard, and Feta


from The New York Times

Cooking Time: 1 hour

Yield: 4 servings

  • 4 medium peppers, preferably red
  • 1 bunch Swiss chard, 12 ounces to 1 pound, stemmed and washed
  • Salt to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups cooked red rice
  • ¼ cup chopped mint
  • 2 ounces feta, crumbed
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste (optional)

Cut the tops away from the peppers and gently remove the seeds and membranes. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt generously and add the chard leaves. Blanch 1 minute, until just tender, and transfer to a bowl of cold water. Drain, squeeze out water and chop medium-fine. You should have about 1 cup.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet or saucepan and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds, and stir in the chard. Stir for about 30 seconds, until coated with oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper. Stir in the rice, toss, together, and remove from the heat.

Transfer the rice mixture to a bowl and stir in the mint, feta and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon the rice and chard mixture into the peppers and place the peppers upright in a lidded saucepan or skillet. Mix together the water, lemon juice, salt to taste, optional tomato paste and remaining olive oil and add to the pan. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat, cover and simmer 40 minutes, until the peppers are tender. Remove the lid and allow to cool in the pan. Transfer to plates or a platter, spoon any liquid remaining in the pan over the peppers if desired, and serve.







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