First Garden Harvest


Though I have grown up in small town or rural settings most of my life, I didn't have the first clue about gardening, unless you count the fact that sticking seeds or plants in the ground can yield produce.  I have had family and others I know who gardened, and because of that I am appreciative of fresh vegetables and fruits, just picked.  Being somewhat health conscious, my husband Drew and I have purchased as much produce as possible from local farmers' markets and roadside stands in the past couple of years.  We tried without success in previous years to raise tomatoes, but this year was going to be different.  We tilled up the ground and made raised beds.  We started seeds in peat pellets indoors before the end of the threat of frost.  We purchased baby plants.  Among the plants we purchased was rainbow chard.  We watered.  We weeded.  We prayed.  It worked!  Sunday night we ate some of the chard from our own garden.  I felt like we were getting away with murder, eating delicious food we didn't buy in a grocery store.  I perused my cookbooks and settled on Tom Colicchio's recipe for sautéed swiss chard found in his cookbook, Craft of Cooking.  If you're not familiar with Colicchio, his restaurants are well known for revolutionizing dining and making use of foods by showcasing a single ingredient.  In this case, the chard leaves were separated from the stems, rinsed well, and then blanched in boiling water.  The two components are then reunited to be sautéed in garlic-infused extra virgin olive oil and then eaten.  It was simple, and delicious.  Here's the basic recipe:

Sauteéd Chard
adapted from Craft of Cooking

2 lb chard
Kosher salt
3 Tb. extra virgin olive oil
1 lg. garlic clove, peeled and sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

Trim any discolored stems or leaves in the chard. Separate the leaves and stems and wash both in several changes of water. Cut the stems into 2.5 inch pieces.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the leaves (plunge them into the water and then remove with a slotted spoon as soon as the water returns to boiling, refresh in ice water, and then blot dry with a clean towel). Add the stems and cook until almost tender, about 3 min. Drain stems and refresh in ice water. Set aside with the leaves.

Combine the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet over low heat. When the garlic begins to color add the chard leaves and stems. Warm the chard in the garlic oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.

Cook's Notes:
1.  I didn't weigh the chard, so I don't know if I had 2 lb or not, but the garlic flavor and the EVOO ratio seemed to work out. 
2.  When you see the chard at the store or farmer's market, you'll think it's a ton and you'd never eat all of it.  Chard, like spinach and other greens, cooks down so much that 2 lb isn't a lot.  The picture at the top of the page is the chard I used for this recipe and we got 3 side dish servings out of it. 

Comments (0)

Post a Comment