Thursday, May 3, 2012
'R GARDEN'S SWISS CHARD
My Sicilian mother-in-law loved Swiss chard. In my younger years, unfortunately, I was vegetable-averse and never tried it. In fact, it wasn't until I was at the New Bern Farmer's Market last fall that I was suddenly struck with the urge to buy Swiss chard. It looked so fresh and beautiful at 'R Garden's stand, obviously fresh picked and still dripping from moisture. Each leaf was bright green or deep crimson, and each one beckoned me to bring it home.
'R Garden is not totally organic, but they assert they are pesticide free and are striving to convert to chemical-free fertilizers. Their produce is consistently good quality and I've become a regular customer.
I asked for help with cooking the chard and was told to treat it just like spinach. In fact, it is a cousin of spinach and it's loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals and also helps to regulate blood sugar. It's one of the most healthful vegetables you can eat and tastes a lot like spinach.
My favorite way to cook spinach, and now Swiss chard, is to just saute it with a little olive oil. First, I slice some garlic in the oil and heat it slowly in a heavy frying pan. When the garlic is golden and sizzling, I take it out and set it aside. Then I sprinkle some crushed red pepper onto the oil and add the greens. Sprinkle a little sea salt on the greens and stir for about 30 seconds or till they start to wilt. Serve with the garlic pieces on top as a garnish, if desired. Absolutely delicious, and so very simple and easy.