An Abundance of Chard (and words)

A few notes on food The post was getting too long so now it is just about chard.  And hopping onto the chard bandwagon.  In the past few days I've seen mentions of chard on Finny Knits and Domicile  – and these blogs are in my non-food folder of Bloglines. Last week, looking around for suggestions on what to do with that bunch of rainbow chard in the fridge, I was directed to this Swiss Chard Tart recipe from Mario Batali.  I was looking for a more substantial (and just different) recipe than my usual Sauteed Tender Greens from The New Best Recipe (served with the grain of the day, perhaps with a side of bean protein of some type).  It was between this recipe and quiche with chard, and I just wasn't feeling like making a pie crust (so lazy) but then I weighed my bunch of chard and discovered it was about 3/4 lb.  Oops.  So I used the Mario Batali recipe as a guide and did the following:

1 bunch swiss chard (about 3/4 lb)
olive oil
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
handful fresh flat leaf parsley
2 eggs
1/2 cup finely grated fresh parm
1 square "artisan" roll turned into bread crumbs – a couple big handfuls

Preheat the oven to, um, 350F. I gave the swiss chard a nice cool soak in the clean sink, removing any bits of sandy dirt.  Then I lightly shook the water off the leaves (you want a bit of water clinging*) and set them in a colander and started the chopping process.  I removed the stems and set them aside (no way was I throwing away that pretty color) and cut the leaves into short ribbons.  Then I cut the stems into small pieces and set them aside.  I cut my onion into thin slices and crushed my two cloves of garlic.  I minced the fresh parsley.

I grabbed my big 12" saute pan and threw in a couple tablespoons of olive oil.  I added the swiss chard stems and the onions and cooked until nice and soft.  Then I added the garlic and sauteed until it was fragrant.  At this point I threw in all of my chard leave ribbons and covered the pan.  After a minute or so (sorry don't remember precisely) I stirred the chard and covered it again.  When the chard looked nice and wilted yet still a bright green I tossed the parsley in, stirred then dumped the pan contents back in the colander to drain and cool. In between the onion/chard cooking I was making bread crumbs and grating parmesan and oiling my 9" pie pan.

I cracked two eggs in a bowl and beat them, adding some salt and pepper as well as a couple tablespoons of the parmesan.  Then I sprinkled a good handful of breadcrumbs (perhaps up to 1/2 cup) in the oiled pie pan.  I also stirred the veggies to help drain and make sure it was cool.  Once I was satisfied the veggies were cool enough to not cook the eggs I dumped them into the eggs, gave it a good mix  cover the veggies in egg and dumped it all in the pie pan.  I smoothed the top, sprinkled with another handful of bread crumbs and then parmesan.  I popped it in the oven for about 30 minutes (until it looked golden and like the eggs were cooked in the middle).

Wow.  Typing this all out it sounds horribly complicated but I swear it wasn't.  Though it did make a few more dirty dishes than I prefer.  Anyways it was quite yummy and not very eggy at all (when I started I wondered how it was different from quiche, but it turns out the eggs just coated the veggies as opposed to the mostly custard with some veggies of quiche).

*While the recipe above instructs you to boil the chard for like 10 minutes, according to TNBR swiss chard is a green that does not require blanching before the final cooking.  They say that the water clinging to the leaves will provide enough moisture for wilting (along with the oil in the pan).

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June 2, 2008. Tags: , . Thoughts.

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