Friday, February 29, 2008

Creamy Baked Swiss Chard Stems

Swiss Chard stems are tough and fibrous. You can cook them with their leaves, but they do add quite a bit more texture, and require longer cooking to become soft. I decided to make them separately.

By boiling them first, I was assured of tenderness; this is a lazy cream sauce that is both sweet and salty.

Creamy Baked Swiss Chard Stems
serves 1-2 as a side dish

canola spray
swiss chard stems, chopped, rinsed and boiled in lightly salted water for 10 minutes to soften
2 tablespoons butter
pinch salt
pinch ground black pepper
1 tablespoon grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
1/3 cup heavy cream

Spray a small baking dish with canola spray. Add chard stems; top with butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and cheese. Pour cream over and bake in a preheated 350*F oven for 45 minutes, or until brown and bubbly.

Simmering the stalks:

Dotted with butter, sprinkled with salt, pepper and parmesan, and pouring cream over:

After baking for 45 minutes:


Lulu said...

I am so not a foodie. I don't even know what a chard is!

Mrs. W said...

Well, I'll admit that this was my first try at making chard at home, and I haven't researched the vegetable myself! So, Lulu, I've found out about it just now:

Swiss Chard, also known as Silverbeet, is a leafy green in the same family as beets and spinach. When the plant is mature (which is what I bought), it has large ribbed leaves (though not as large as collards) with tough stems. The stems can be yellow, white or red (I bought the red for these recipes).

The flavor of the raw green is bitter and salty, but cooking mellows the strong flavor.

Swiss Chard is a super-packed nutritional powerhouse. It contains vitamins A, K, B1, B2, B6, E and C, copper, calcium, protein, phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, zinc, folate, biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid (whatever that is) and dietary fiber.

(Information gathered from these articles.)

Despite all of that, it's good.


katiez said...

I bought some Swiss chard seeds in the US and can't wait to plant them. We can't get it here (pig food)

Lulu said...

It's does look pretty fabulous. Especially swimming in heavy cream!

Mrs. W said...

Katiez--you'll love it! I've read that it's pretty easy to grow. Of course I can kill any plant, so I'm not a good judge.

Lulu--everything is better in cream, isn't it! But if you want to de-fat it a bit, you could use milk mixed with a little cornstarch or arrowroot powder.

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