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Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Slow Cooked Chard

Last night I brought a garbage bag full of chard to my book club. A garbage bag. To give away. Because the forecast predicted a freeze and I overplanted chard and I hated the thought of wasting it. I am officially a crazy garden lady.

my chard patch

For the uninitiated, chard is a leafy green vegetable with a hard stalk. Typically stems and thick ribs are removed and discarded, though unlike kale, the stems are edible. When a recipe calls for just leaves, I don't bother to cut out the ribs; I just remove the bottom portion of the stem. Chard cooks down significantly, so don't be shocked by what looks like way too much. I find it easiest to wash chard in a clean sink; submerge in water and swish around for a minute or so. Rinse it at least twice to make sure you remove all the dirt. Then use your biggest cutting board for chopping, and work in batches.

Chard can be used in a number of ways. We often substitute it for spinach and other greens, though mature chard isn't great in a salad and chard requires less time to cook than kale or collard greens. Though the recipe below requires a long cooking time, it's mostly hands off, leaving you free to finish other things for the rest of the meal.

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Slow Cooked Chard


Source: Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop
Serves 6ish

2 lbs chard, washed and shaken to remove excess water
3 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 c chicken or vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare the chard: slice off the thick stems and ribs from the chard and cut into 1/4-inch dice. Slice leaves crosswise into 1/2-inch-wide strips. Keep stems and leaves separate.

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven or x-quart pot over medium heat. Saute onion in oil until golden, 5-10 minutes. Add garlic and saute for a few seconds until fragrant. Stir in the chard stems, then add stock with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until chard stems are starting to lose their shape, about 30 minutes.

Raise heat to medium, stir in the chard leaves, cover the pan, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the leaves have wilted and are tender, 12-15 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper, if necessary, before serving. 

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