We're also featuring Rainbow Chard! We harvested SO MUCH of this beautiful, versatile, and delicious green, and we will be showing it off this weekend at market. If you haven't ever tried chard, or haven't picked up a bunch in awhile, now's the time to try it again. We're running a special on it this week: 2 bunches for $5, a STEAL since this veggie is so nutritious and good for you, and it'll keep for at least week in the fridge (in a plastic bag).
Why is chard so special? It's a hardy green, which is why we like it: unlike spinach, which cannot tolerate heat, chard can hang out in the field through the heat of the late spring/early summer and continue to produce a nice crop. It is high in vitamins, protein, minerals and other nutrients--and you've all heard how it's good to eat veggies of different colors, and this is one way to do it! Here at NMF, we used to grow only the red and green varieties. Now we grow what's called Rainbow chard, which is a mix of all different varieties and colors. You've seen some with red ribs, some with yellow, some with pink, orange, all colors. It creates the most beautiful bunches and brightens up any dish! Chard and beetroots are the same species, and the first varieties of it can be traced back to Sicily. It's also known as Swiss Chard, and we sometimes use the words swiss and rainbow interchangeably--it all refers to the same thing!
Pearl had been the chard manager for many years (and the switch from two colors to rainbow was her idea!), but this year she gave it up so another apprentice could experience the thrill of chard. Now Heather, also Tuesday market manager, is managing the crop, and she took some time this AM to write down her all-time favorite chard recipe (PS -- Heather knows what she's talking about: she went to culinary school and has cooked in restaurants!). She wanted everyone to know a few quick suggestions for cooking with chard:
Heather's Chard Tips:
- Use chard like spinach in your favorite recipes.
- Great addition to soups, stews, and slow-cooked roasts at the end of cooking.
- Can be steamed for stuffing, much like cabbage
- Very easy side dish - chard sautes and steams very quickly.
- Baby chard is delicious in salads.
- Chard can also be perfect for picnics as a "roll up". Tender, younger chard can hold soft cheeses, cured meats, berries, vegetable slices, egg salad, chicken salad -- really anything you would want in a wrap or a sandwich.
Her recipe for Chard is easy and quick, and best of all: ONE POT for easy clean up!
Eggs Nested in Rainbow chard, Mushrooms, and Tomatoes
3/4 pounds Rainbow Chard
½ cups Yellow Onion (or spring onion), Chopped
2 cloves Garlic (or spring garlic), Smashed and Minced
1 cup Tomatoes, Chopped (about one medium standard tomato, skin optional)
2-3 Large Shitake Mushrooms, Chopped
2 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/4 cup Dry White Wine (optional)
Salt And Pepper, to taste
2-4 Farm Fresh Eggs
1. Cut out the center of the chard leaves (ribs). Chop ribs into ½ inch pieces and place in a bowl. Add the chopped onions, garlic, and mushrooms to the bowl. Cut the remaining chard leaves crosswise into 1-inch ribbons. Set them aside separately.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions, chard ribs, garlic, and mushrooms. Saute for about 5-7 minutes, until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms are a little brown on the edges and have started to give up their moisture. If adding white wine, add 3 minutes into the saute.
3. Add the chard leaves and fresh tomatoes to the sauté pan. Stir to coat all leaves with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Make wells in the mixture, for the eggs to be dropped into. Crack the eggs into the wells. Lower heat to low and cover the skillet. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the whites are cooked through. Transfer eggs and chard to a plate to serve. Cut into the yolk for a delcious natural sauce and serve with a baguette with butter to sop up sauces.
* sugar snap peas are a terrific addition!
- Super easy breakfast, lunch or even dinner meal
- Nutritious and fresh meal: Antioxident and phytopnutrient filled, high in vitamin C, K, and magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron, and folate.
Looking for a few more recipes? The New York Times has featured chard in many of their "Recipes for Health" series! The latest, Amaranth, Ricotta and Greens Pancakes, would serve as an ideal companion to Heather's Nestled Eggs if you were planning a super healthy brunch! Check out the Recipes for Health page on Chard for more suggestions!