Wednesday, June 23, 2010

CSA - Swiss Chard

As I begin to dig through and plan my first CSA box I feel like I am relearning something. It is like reading a book 20 years after the first time you read it. My parents have always been pretty adventurous with produce, so I was exposed to more than just the common vegetables as a child. As an adult, I have to admit, I have not really ventured out of the usual vegetables when cooking. I am excited about the CSA as it will challenge me to experiment with new vegetables as well as remember some that I just haven't had since I was a kid. Like kohlrabi and beets. Still stewing on what to do with them. The CSA is a true adventure in discovering new things!

I started with the Swiss Chard because everything I read about it says the fresher the better. I made it very simply, just sauteed in olive oil with some garlic and salt. I might have over salted, or is this a salty vegetable? Are there any salty vegetables? Not sure, but it was bit salty.

This is not a true recipe, but a bit of my step by step

Big bunch Swiss Chard
2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
1 Clove of Garlic
Salt and pepper to taste

The bright red celery like stems are so beautiful and crispy. Almost to perfect to chop and cook. I started by removing those red stems, but saves some and cut sort of Julianne strips for the dish.

I learned this by watching Rachel Ray. She washed spinach by filling the sink with cold water and floating all the spinach. The dirt falls out and sinks to the bottom. I drained it and ran it through the salad spinner. Was really quite dry and perfectly dirt free.

I chopped some of the beautiful red stems and sauteed them in the oil for about 10 minutes prior to adding the chard. It took about three or four batches added slowly to fit it all in this small skillet. It is always amazing how those huge firm leaves can all cook down to this small little mass.

Not the cover of Gourmet Magazine, but this is what dinner looks like at our house. It killed me to chop those fresh from the ground carrots and just boil them in water, but I know my audience (1 and 3 year old) so I cook what will be eaten. I was pushing it with the chard, we needed simple carrots. All was delicious!

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