Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Recipes for chard

I promised you some recipes on chard, so I took a few hours on the library looking through cook books. (Oldfashioned, yes, but judging from the amount of visitors books won't go out of fashion for many years.) Perhaps it was stupid to do so when I was hungry, my rumbling stomach ought to have bugged others. By chance I happened to pick recipes from swedish and german cook books, so I'm not able to give you handy links to where you can by the books in english, but perhaps I can give you some new ideas.

Most of the recipes I found was spinach recipes, and since you can use spinach and chard interchangably I've taken the liberty to pick some recipes originally meant for spinach. I've put a star * after those where I've switched the ingredient. Both vegetables works well with strong cheese - which you can see - and fat. It's allways tempting to add some extra so make sure you have some measure spoons at hand when you are cooking.

Let's start with a YouTube vid where a professional chef, Derek Hanson from Nutshell restaurant in Portland, Oregon (recently closed, so I can't provide you with a link), who shows you how to make sautéed chard with cherry ginger gastrique. The vid is from everydaydish.tv. If you can't get your hands on dryed cherries you could use fresh ones, preferebly of the sour kind. This movie also gives you an idea on how to handle chard. (If you grow it indoors the leaves gets only half the size of those he handles, but the taste is the same.)

Next is a recipe from one of my favourite ladies, mrs Saxon. She was one of the first modern vegetarians in Sweden, and married to Johan Lindström Saxon, founder of Svenska Vegetariska Föreningen (Swedish Vegetarian Association). I don't agree with everything mrs Saxon writes in her book, she can be somewhat rabid, but the recipes are interesting, and I did find one on spinach 'buns' where it's possible to use chard.

Chard buns according to mrs Saxon*

2,5dl parboiled and minced chard
3 "french breads" (ie. breads made only from wheat the size of a fist)
1,5dl milk
1 egg
a pinch of sugar (this is to balance the tastes, not a sweetener)

Mix egg and milk and soak the breads in the mixture, add salt, sugar and mangold and make a batter. Pick chunks the size of an egg and make oblong buns, roll them in the raspings and fry them untill they're brown.

Served with potatoes and "milk sause" (ie bechamel).

Mrs. Saxon wrote her cook book 1928 and I read it mostly with a smile (sometimes with a shudder) since it reeks of the thoughts popular pre second world war, but I cook the recipes since they are old swedish homely cooking with the characteristic taste combinations and harmonies. You're not spoiled with that when it comes to vegetarian recipes. ("Fru Saxons kokbok", 1928, Bröderna Lindströms förlag)

From another swedish cookbook "Barnfamiljens bästa mat" (The best food for families with children) by Lotta Brinck I've picked a recipe on chard fried with garlic. This is your basic chard sauce in one of its forms. You can vary this recipe in many ways, add some yoghurt and cumin for an indian touch or quick thicken it (sift some flour over the chard and let it fry for a while, pour in some milk and let it thicken) and season with white pepper and salt for an old swedish homely cooking taste.

Chard fried with garlic

Chop 2 liters of chard leaves. Put them in a hot frying pan and boil until most of the water [from the leaves] evaporate. Pour 2 table spoons of olive oil, a crushed clove of garlic and one teaspone dried thyme. Fry for a minute. Add a with a pinch of black pepper and salt.

This is a side dish. I would use it to fish or as a condiment to baked potatoes. ("Barnfamiljens bästa mat" Lotta Brinck, 1994, ISBN 91-502-1152-8)

In "Mera grönt - en kokbok även för köttälskare" (More greenery - a cookbook for meatlovers as well) by Cecilia Björk and Malin Kågerman Hansén I found several recipes for spinach and even one particularly for chard. Still I choose their bread pudding since it's a dish good for recycling old bread.

Bread pudding with chard and feta cheese*

250g frosen chard
6 slices of white bread
150g feta cheese
4 eggs
4dl cream milk (1 part milk, one part dairy cream)
salt, white pepper, ground nutmeg

1. Put the oven on 225¤C (437¤F), unfreeze the chard by putting it in a kettle with 1dl (1/3 cup) boiling and lightly salted water. Keep it boiling untill all the chard is soft. Put it in a colander and press out the water. Cut the chard into smaller pieces.

2 Toast the bread. Cut away the crust. Put the slices in a buttered pan.

3 Spread the chard over the bread. Crumble the feta cheese and put it on top of the chard.

4 Mix egg and creammilk together. Add salt, pepper and some ground nutmeg. Pour the mixture into the pan over the feta/chard.

5 Put it in the oven and let it bake for about thirty minutes.

This is a main dish. ("Mera grönt - en kokbok även för köttälskare" Cecilia Björk och Malin Kågerman, 1998, ISBN 97-47-04490-X)

Lastly a recipe from "Gesund und schmackhaft kochen mit der hl. Hildegard von Bingen" by Ellen Breindl ('Sound and Tasty Cuisine with Holy Hildegard von Bingen' - I read the swedish version 'Hildegards kök' translated by Sune Karlsson). The book uses texts written by and about Hildegard of Bingen - one of medieval times most famous nuns. Writing this I can't say how close the recipes in the book follows the originals, but here we have a small trifle suspiciously close to a smoothie.

Chard milk*

500g mangold
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 liter of fat milk

Carefully rinse the chard in cold water and put it in a saucer. Pour in water untill the chard is covered, salt lightly and put it to boil. Mix the chard in a mixer untill it's purée. Cool it. Add lemon juice, the egg yolk and honey and mix for a short period of time. Add and mix in the milk right before you are pouring the drink into glasses. Decorate with some finely chopped parsley.

This is a cold delicacy for warm days. ("Gesund und schmackhaft kochen mit der hl. Hildegard von Bingen" Ellen Breindl, Pattloch-Verlag, Augsburg 1994 and "Hildegards kök" Ellen Breindl, övers. Sune Karlsson, 2000, ISBN 91-7085-207-3)


notsocrafty.com said...

Hi, I grew chard last year and it was such a prolific plant that I too had to do a mad search for recipes. I found a number of them on the New York Times Recipes.
This one in particular was very good.

but other recipes can be found here. I meant to try the ragout.


Rosengeranium said...

Thanks for the tips! Chard is one of those plants that takes over everything including the remote to the tv unless you eat it fast enough, so the recipes will sure come in handy.

Hydroponica said...

Looks tasty! I'll have to try these out once my chard grows up.

Rosengeranium said...

Great to hear! Good luck!

Red Icculus said...

We pan fry the stems and leaves with garlic and onion. It is great on top of rice or chicken. It is way more funky than spinach when prepared, so it is mostly an accent, not a main course.

Rosengeranium said...

Sounds really tasty! Garlic and chard is a recurring combination in recipes for a good reason.