Chard and Cheddar Omelet

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 cups chopped swiss chard
  • pinch anise seed
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper

I put the cast iron pan on medium heat. Tossed in a pinch of anise seed and let it heat up so the oils release.

I cracked 3 eggs and beat with a fork until completely blended. I added 2 TBSP of cold water and beat to smooth.

I then added 1 tbsp of butter and tossed in the cleaned, and chopped chard, sautéing quickly. It is done in two minutes of so. I removed from heat and set aside, scraping the pan to remove all the chard.

I added 1 tbsp of butter and tilted the pan to make sure every inch is covered with butter. I poured the beaten eggs and tilted again to spread evenly. Then I lift the pan up and drop it, bang-bang, to get the bubbles out. It seems to make it really set, somehow. Turn the heat down to medium-low.

While it cooked a bit, I grated 1/4 inch slice of sharp cheddar cheese, about 1/4 cup. I sprinkled it over the eggs. Added some salt and pepper, then spread the cooked chard over this.

When spreading the cheese and chard, make sure to leave about 1/2 and inch clear from the edges so when you fold it over, it will “seal’ and not gape open with chard leaking out.  As soon as the egg is set, slide out on a plate, folding it over as you place it on the plate.

While there is not very much cheddar, it adds just the right amount of creaminess to offset the slightly sharp flavor of the chard. The aromatic anise is exquisite with eggs.

Red Chard & Lentils Soup

Image

 

Heat 1.5 TBSP of olive oil in your soup kettle, while heating the oil, chop 1 medium yellow onion and add to the oil. Add dried oregano and thyme and some salt and pepper. Sauté until tender. Add a can of diced tomatoes and heat, stirring together. Add 1 cup of lentils and 5 cups of water. Bring to a boil, put a lid on it and let it simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, clean and chop red chard, separating the leaves from the stems. When the lentils are tender, add the stalks, then five minutes later add the green leaves. Let cook for about 5 more minutes and remove from heat, adding a bit of salt and pepper and the juice of one fresh lemon.

The flavor is hearty, bright and rich. The lemon really brightens the flavors and helps marry the chard and lentils.

Red Chard & Rutabaga Salad

Red Chard & Rutagbaga

This is a fairly easy and delicious salad, rich in flavor and texture. I started by peeling and cutting a few rutabaga into cubes and parboiling them. I cooked them until they became just fork tender, but still toothsome.  Straining off the water, I put the chunks in the fridge to cool, available for salad making. I used about 1/3 of what I had cooked in this salad.

I cut up two cups red chard leaves sliced into ribbons, added 2 cloves of crushed garlic, 1 tsp of kosher salt and 1 tbsp of olive oil and massage the red chard until tender. I added 1 cup of the rutabaga chunks and 1/2 tsp of sumac. I then added 1/4 cup of chopped red onions. Stirring together I added the juice of half of a fresh lemon and put in a plastic bowl with a l id so there flavors could marry by sitting together for a few hours. After marinating, serve with a bit of pepper to taste.

Rutabaga responds to sumac like a fruit, developing an even richer flavor. The earthy chard, the bite of garlic and the fruity tang of rutabaga meld beautifully with the sumac, lemon and oil. This makes one large serving or two side servings.

 

Red Chard, Potato and Chickpea Soup

DSCN5528

I had a bunch of new potatoes that were getting eyes all over and really needed to be cooked up into something. They were quite small, so cut up small pieces, they came to about 4 cups or so of potatoes. Thinking of what to make, I considered making the Potato & Kale Chicken soup I made a few months ago, but I had some red chard and decided to go with that and the vague memory of a stew served by my host family in Spain back when I was in high school.

I heated 2 TBSP of olive oil in my 4 quart pot. I chopped up one small yellow onion (about 1 cup of diced onions) and once the oil was hot, I added the 1 cup of diced onions and 4 cups of chopped potatoes and sautéed until the potatoes began to brown. Once they browned I added 3 minced small garlic cloves (I would have used 2 but they were tiny.) I then added 1/8 tsp of cayenne, 1 tsp of turmeric and 1/2 tsp of paprika and 1/2 tsp of salt. I let them heat just until they perfumed the air.

Then I added 4 cups of chicken broth. I made the broth by boiling the carcass and drippings from a roast chicken I made. The chicken rests on a bed of onions while it roasts and the onions become saturated with flavor making an amazing broth. If you want to make a vegan version, you can use vegetable broth. The original recipe fried up lots of shoulder bacon, using the bacon grease instead of olive oil and adding water for a bacon-flavored broth.

I let the broth heat and drained one can of cooked chickpeas, rinsing the canning fluid off them I tossed the chickpeas in with the potatoes. I took 3 stalks of red chard and cleaned them, removing the leaves from the red stems. I chopped up the leaves and added them (about 4 cups of chopped red chard) and let everything simmer with the lid on until the potatoes were tender.

The flavor is subtly spicy. It’s fairly hearty for a summer soup, but delicious and flavorful with some smokiness from the paprika, some heat from the cayenne and a subtle perfume from the turmeric that gives it a earthy background flavor that rounds out the blend of chard, potato and chickpeas.

This made about 2 quarts of soup.