We returned from our trip today and didn’t have time to make it to the farmer’s market before it closed. Or, to be more accurate, we’d already driven for over three hours, I was mildly carsick, and I was so not going to hop back in the car until I’d eaten food and hosed myself off.
I was a little worried about our local meal. Would it have to be another plate of backyard green beans and peas?
Then, looking through my photos for the week, I realized I’d already eaten one entirely local meal!
(Plus the kids had baked me some local scones. Oh, and does foraging for wild raspberries and wineberries count as local snacking?)
(Just so you know, I don’t photograph everything I eat. It just worked out that way. I was planning a post about different ways to prepare swiss chard, that don’t inspire your children to make obligatory gagging sounds.)
(Sorry about my ongoing love affair with parentheses. I like for us to feel that I am sharing secrets.)
Anyway. I cooked up an armful of rainbow chard like so:
- Separate greens from stems. Cut stems into 1/2″ pieces and put into oven-safe dish. Drizzle some oil over top, mix well, and put into oven. (Ours was already set at 425 to bake scones. What, did you think I was going to let the kids bake scones and not cook something else at the same time? That’s good energy wasted!) Tweak your temperature and cooking times as needed to suit whatever else you’re cooking at the same time.
- While stems are cooking, chop up leaves into smallish hunks. This will yield a ridiculously large pile of greens.
- After 20 minutes, start checking those stems. At 425 degrees I was happy with their texture after about 23 minutes- browning and tender.
- Heap your pile of chopped leaves on top of your cooked stems. ( They threatened to overflow my 8×8 dish, so if you are dealing with more than 9 good-sized stems, you’re going to need a bigger boat. )
- Drizzle with a bit more oil, toss very carefully, return to oven for five minutes or so, until everything is nice and dark and wilted.
- Add some local heavy cream and salt and pepper. Turn off heat, put dish back into oven until cream is bubbly (or until table is set and dinner is ready). Normally I would add some parmesan at this point, as it adds a nice salty edge. But, all I had was local smoked cheddar, so I went with that instead.
Then I whipped up a quick omelet with local eggs and filled it with the remaining creamy cheesy chardy goodness.
I like cooking with chard!
What’s your favorite way to prepare it?