Friday, February 10, 2012

Somewhere Over the Rainbow... Chard - Lemon-Garlic Chard Recipe

Tuesday, 2/7/12 - I signed up for an organic CSA-type delivery service from Full Circle Farms again, now that they have a smaller box option. (I tried them before with a Groupon, and we were throwing half the food out before we could eat it, since it was just too much, even with reducing deliveries to every other week!)
This week I got:
0.75 lb purple potatoes
2 parsnips
0.5 lb green beans
1 bunch rainbow chard
2 cameo apples
2 Bosc pears
2 kiwi
and I added a pound of strawberries, since we were out and they were the same price as the grocery store, only these are organic!
Since we also just bought a bunch of kale and two heads of cabbage (green and red) per Little Z's request, plus another pound of spinach from the grocery store yesterday, we've got greens coming out our... ears. So I needed to use these up, STAT!

I plan to use a little of the cabbage to make PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps this same night, and a purple-themed lunch for Z later. Other than that I got a simple-looking stir-fry recipe from Myra from Mommy + Me Lunchbox to hopefully use up the rest. The kale is slated for kale chips.

In a desperate internet search, I found this Lemon-Garlic Chard recipe that fulfilled all my requirements: I have all the ingredients on hand today, got good reviews, quick prep and cook time, and I understood all the words!
Lemon-Garlic Rainbow Chard
Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time: 15 minutes

3 bunch rainbow chard (minus anything gnawed on or dropped on floor by preschooler assistant.)
6 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, sliced (I used 6 tsp minced from a jar)
1 pinch red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt/pepper to taste (I didn't add any)

Step 1: Separate the stems of the chard from the leaves.
This is a great activity for the kids to help with. While it's harder to chop the leaves when they're torn up randomly by little hands, it's something fun and easy they can do to help, and might get them excited about eating the dish later.
Step 2: Cut the leaves into thin strips. Set aside.
Alternately, if the children are still interested, you could have them tear the leaves into small strips and chunks.
Step 3: Thinly slice the stems.
I'm not sure if they meant to slice them lengthwise or widthwise, so I sliced widthwise, a la celery.

Step 4: Heat olive oil in large pan or pot over medium heat. Stir in garlic, red pepper flakes, and chard stems. Cook for 3 minutes, until the stems begin to soften.
Since I'm not a fan of any food with the word 'pepper' in it (and I couldn't find an open jar of red pepper flakes,) I skipped them.

Step 5: Stir in the chard leaves and cook 5 minutes on medium-low heat.
Step 6: Stir, re-cover, and continue cooking until chard is tender. (I cooked mine another 3 minutes.)

Step 7: Toss with lemon juice to serve

I made a rookie mistake and forgot to cut my measurements into thirds, since I was only using the one bunch of chard. Gah. So it was very oily. I ended up using a strainer to drain.
I didn't bother with the lemon juice at this point, since I was so disgusted with the whole process, and tired of cooking. I had also made a complex 'spinning plates' recipe for dinner (see PF Chang's Lettuce Wraps link at top!) Plus for whatever reason Baby E refused to be set down, so I had to hold her or wear her all evening while cooking. And my husband got home an hour late.

It actually tasted okay. A little soggy, but the flavor was good. Salty and garlicky. Surprisingly, not too garlicky, considering I was accidentally using triple the amount for one bunch of chard. So if you like garlic, and you're using the pre-minced stuff from a jar, you might go ahead and double or triple it. Fresh and sliced might be stronger, so you might leave it as directed then.
I can see how the lemon juice would have complemented it nicely. though. Not that I'll try this again. One of the nice things about FCF's service is that I can edit my box in advance and trade out stuff I don't want for stuff I do! So unless I forget, I'll just make sure I don't get no more stinkin' chard!

On the plus side, however, Z really enjoyed helping me shred the leaves, and she even ate some. Including the stem, which she used to just throw away, when we got it in our pick-up CSA last September. She was very angry when I chopped the leaves all up, and even angrier when I tossed it all in the pot. She made me fish some shreds out for her to eat raw.


  1. Seriously, your kid eats chard RAW, and you're going to edit it out of your box? Keep it in, let her eat it, throw the rest away -- this is better for her than any gummy vitamin you'll ever buy. Plus, she'll be more likely to eat greens as an older child. My son was similar, and because I just kept feeding him spinach, kale, and chard raw (when he loved them as a baby), he now loves and begs for them as a 10-year old. He's the healthiest kid you'll ever meet -- one sick day per year on average through all of elementary school.

  2. I confess I did not even know what chard was until I saw your post... Thanks for linking to the Rainbow Connection!


Go ahead! Tell me how awesome I am. Or ask a question. Whatever.

(Please note that I had to disable Anonymous comments. Too many spam comments coming through the filters.)