Chard every day


We've had a box of Swiss chard in the shop recently - one of my favourite greens and one that really likes the British climate so UK grown supplies are plentiful right now. Less familiar than spinach though so I had several conversations with people about how to cook chard, and I thought posting some ideas here might be useful! Think of it as a cross between spinach and pak choi - lots of green leaf with a good amount of fleshy stems too, and it takes well to all sorts of flavours.Try this basic stir-fry/saute below - done quickly and can be eaten in many different ways.

YOU NEED

chard (a whole armful really, as it wilts right down)

onion, plenty of garlic, olive oil, lemon juice

HOW TO

Cut the fleshy stems off the leaves (remove any woody bits) and slice them up. Bunch the leafy parts together and chop them up roughly too.

Sweat some chopped onion in a pan with a glug of olive oil until translucent, add the sliced stems and a good pinch of salt, and cook gently until softened (about 10 min). Add chopped or squashed garlic cloves (I use one clove per person) and cook for another couple of minutes.

Add the leafy parts to the pan, a couple more glugs of olive oil and mix well to cover the leaves in the oil and onion mix. Your pan will probably be quite full at this point - don't worry, it will cook down to less than 1/4 of volume. Season with salt & pepper (and a bit of chilli if you like), and add just a splash of water to prevent sticking (really just a splash, you want to avoid boiling the greens).Put the lid on and simmer gently until wilted - about 10 mins.

Add a handful of fresh herbs if you have them - anything you like will work here (I like parsley, dill and mint), a good squeeze of lemon juice and let it stand for a few minutes to cool down a bit to allow the flavours to come together.

Eat as it is with crusty bread, or steamed potatoes, or with rice, couscous, or quinoa. Or add to pasta. Or add stock to make a soup. Cook rice in the greens for Greek style Green Rice, or poach eggs in them for a Middle Eastern style dish. Instead of lemon and chilli, flavour with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil and/or tahini for an Asian twist. Or check out more ideas from Yotam Ottolenghi and Anna Jones.

Oh and the above treatment works just as well with spinach, spring greens or kale :)

#fruitveg #chard #realfood

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