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Topic: Swiss Chard

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Subject: Swiss Chard
Date Posted: 10/21/2012 11:41 AM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2012
Posts: 66
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The first week of my CSA is coming up. I've been told that I'll receive squash, lettuces, stir fry greens and Swiss Chard. I can work with the first three, but what do you do with Swiss Chard. I've never even tried it before. I don't know if I've even seen it. I've read online that the leaf can be used as another green while the stem is like a mild version of celery, but I don't know if that's true or not.

Has anyone tried this vegetable? If so, what's your opinion?

Date Posted: 10/21/2012 7:52 PM ET
Member Since: 10/17/2006
Posts: 1,427
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Arthur:  My daughter planted Swiss chard in her backyard garden this year, partly because last spring I told her a garden was a good idea, but that whatever she planted, I hoped she wouldn't plant Swiss chard!   Well, maybe you know how kids can be . . . .

The stuff grows easily, so the only catch is you hafta have people who will eat the stuff.  She and her daughter are both vegetarians, and they eat a LOT of things I could never put in front of my hubby.    She got a lot of her recipes for vegetables from McCormick-Schilling's cookbook, called Spices of the World.  But for chard, I could only locate one recipe, and it's in my Prairie Home Cooking, by Judith M. Fertig.  It's for Noodles with Chard and Caramelized Onions.  I'll send it to you in a PM.  It won't matter whether your CSA basket contains rainbow chard, red rhubarb chard, or green chard.   (A few drops of acid (vinegar or lemon juice) is usually added to a red veggie to preserve, during cooking, the red color.  And with braised red cabbage, a tart apple provides both a complementary flavor and enough acidity to keep the cabbage red.)

My daughter and I got a head of red cabbage in our final weekly CSA basket last Wednesday.  I put some raw shreds of it in the garden salad, and made sweet-sour red cabbage of the rest of my share.   

Date Posted: 10/21/2012 8:58 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2012
Posts: 66
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Thanks, I'll give it a try when I get the basket. Supposed to be on the 3rd of November.

You know, the whole reason that I joined the CSA was to try new things. It looks like it's working. I haven't even started it yet and I'm looking for new recipes.

Date Posted: 10/26/2012 12:58 PM ET
Member Since: 4/30/2007
Posts: 2,728
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Chard is hardier than spinach, and not quite as hardy as kale, so it's a good medium-textured green.  It is best cooked, though I have seen some chard salads that are prepare somewhat like a kale salad, where they marinate in a high-acid dressing, which has a tenderizing effect.  I prefer to use chard in cooked dishes though- it's good in soups, because while it will become tender, it won't fall apart and become as mushy as spinach.

If you blanch it, it's pretty versatile and you can use it in a lot of different types of dishes.  You'll want to cut out the center stem and any of the larger, tough veins. Then slice the leaves into ribbons about 1/2 inch to one inch wide.  Blanch in salted boiling water for half a minute to a minute, depending on how cooked you want it to be.  If you are going to be adding it to a dish that will be further cooked, you might want to blanch it for the lesser time.  You can chop it up and add it to lasagna, like you would spinach, or other casseroles.  For a yummy side dish, heat some olive oil in a hot pan and sautee some sliced onion until translucent, then add some minced garlic and the chard.  Stir-fry for a minute or two until the chard begins to wilt, then remove from heat.  Salt, pepper, and top with fresh grated cheese.  This is my favorite way to prepare kale as well, though kale requires a longer blanching time.

Date Posted: 10/26/2012 8:03 PM ET
Member Since: 6/21/2008
Posts: 6,573
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We Italians do this.   Here  is the prize winning recipe:  

take the big stems and cut off all the green. 



dip in flour. 

dip in egg. 

dip in seasoned bread crumbs. 

fry in lite oil of your choice.  Personally I think olive oil is too heavy but my Nona used it.  when brown, remove. 

Eat.  Even the kids will like it.


French use chard this way:

chop greens removing most of the hard stem parts.  A whole bunch them

tear up bread or chop small.  we use sourdough.

add 4 to 6  eggs

add 2 to 3 cups grated white cheese:  swiss, grenyer, whatever you like.

add 1/2 tablespoon of nutmeg and  black pepper.

put mixture in oiled casserole dish with cover.  dot with butter if you like. 

Bake at 350 for 45 to 60 minutes or until center is done.  try not to over bake.  Sometimes I take the cover off for the last 15 minutes or so.

Last Edited on: 10/26/12 9:52 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 10/26/2012 8:23 PM ET
Member Since: 8/25/2012
Posts: 66
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Both your ideas are very interesting. I can't say which I'll choose until I actually get the swiss chard. It should be a week from Saturday. That's the first week of the CSA.

Mary (mepom) -
Date Posted: 10/26/2012 9:15 PM ET
Member Since: 1/23/2009
Posts: 1,192
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I cook it like Lesley's yummy side dish. That is with olive oil, garlic and salt.
Date Posted: 11/12/2012 12:11 PM ET
Member Since: 2/25/2007
Posts: 13,991
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We belong to a CSA that starts in a couple weeks. Swiss chard is a very popular part of their boxes.

We do it pretty much like any other leafy green. But I take the stems out, or off.

They are tough, and the leaf will cook to bits before the stem softens. Many people say chop up the stems and put them in the pan first---just let them cook longer, and they will be fine. I usually just don't bother, which is wasteful, but I just don't do it. Their taste is not different. They just take longer to cook.