Week 3: No Doubt About It, Life Is Chard
Welcome to Week 3 of the 2019/2020 Moutoux Orchard CSA! Spring is chugging along here at the farm and the weather has been absolutely beautiful. We continue to have all the spring fixings. The greens are loving the unseasonably cooler weather and will be producing a while longer. Keep an eye out for late spring/early summer arrivals such as squash, cucumbers, and carrots which will be in abundance very soon!
This week's focus is on chard. If you don't know and love chard, you are in for a treat! Read on to see how crazy versatile chard is in Week 3: No Doubt About It, Life Is Chard.
The leafy green, formerly known as "Swiss chard" (due to belief that a Swiss botanist named it), is now commonly known as just chard. Very hipster of it, we know. Chard is a biennial green related to beets and spinach. It has an earthy flavor with a slight hint of bitterness. Different varieties have white, red, yellow, deep pink, or orange stalks. Both the leaves and stalks are edible, but in most cases should be cooked separately as the stalks need more time in the pan.
Chard is LOADED with vitamins A, E, and C, and minerals like iron and calcium. In fact, minerals are more readily absorbed from chard than spinach because chard does not contain oxalic acid which tends to bind minerals and render them unavailable during digestion.
Chard can be easily substituted in recipes calling for spinach, collards, or beet greens. It can also be eaten raw, sauteed, steamed or blanched making this veggie multi-purpose in the kitchen.
1 cup chard, stemmed and finely chopped
1/4 tsp coarse salt
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove or 2 scapes
1 cup yogurt
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
Pitas/pita chips or veggies for dipping
Prepare ice bath, set aside
Bring large saucepan of water to boil, add chard and cook until just tender (3-5 minutes).
Drain and plunge into ice bath. Drain again.
Grind garlic and salt into paste by hand or food processor.
Combine chard, yogurt, garlic paste, oil, lemon juice, and cayenne (if using) and serve.
Notes: Recipe courtesy of Martha Stewart.
1 lb chard, stems trimmed
2 Tbsp tahini or low-sodium soy sauce
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp toasted sesame oil
Sesame seeds (optional)
Blanch greens in pot of salted water until tender; about 15 seconds.
Drain, let cool, squeeze out excess liquid, and chop leaves.
Whisk together soy sauce/tahini, lime juice, and sesame oil in large bowl. Season with salt.
Add greens, toss to coat, add sesame seeds (if using), and serve.
Notes: Can use other greens such as kale, mustard greens, or collard greens, blanch for 2 minutes instead.
QUICK PICKLED CHARD STEMS
stems from 1 bunch of chard, chopped
1 cup rice wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp kosher salt
Chop chard stems and add to pint jar.
Combine vinegar, water, honey, and salt in small pot and heat until salt and honey is dissolved.
Pour warm brine into pint jar and put on lid.
Let cool until room temperature and pop in fridge.
Notes: Use on/in green salads, tuna salad, quesadillas, burgers, etc. Anywhere you need a little tang and crunch (similar to pickles). Recipe courtesy of Marisa McClellon of Food in Jars.
Have fun experimenting with chard! Try it in egg dishes (quiche, frittata, omelets), soups, quesadillas, or stir fries. It also pairs well with legumes (black-eyed peas, lentils, chickpeas, beans of all kinds), tomatoes, crumbly cheese (goat, feta), and starches (pasta, potatoes, polenta).