Swiss chard is one pretty vegetable, with bright green leaves and stalks that grow in various shades of white, red, pink, orange or yellow.
Prior to setting sight on one of these multicolored bouquets, I’d never felt compelled to try to cook Swiss Chard because they had never been easily available to me.
When we got some at the small market where I work, I immediately bought one bunch and decided to challenge myself in finding a way to use it in a recipe.
Here are two delicious and nutritious recipes that came out of it:
(Both of these recipes were prepared as Vegetarian but can have Non-veggie ingredients that I added into the ingredient list as optional)
Recipe 1: Swiss chard salad with Quinoa, beans and a honey mustard/balsamic vinegar dressing.
Serves 4. Can be used as a main meal or a side dish (we had it along with Beef tartare)
– 1 Chinese Shallot
– 1 bouquet Swiss chard
– 1/2 box Quinoa (approx. 200 grams)
– 1/2 Red pepper
– 1 can mixed beans (any you like. I suggest chick peas, kidney beans, black beans, lima beans)
– 1/2 Red bell pepper
Optional: Chicken or Vegetable broth to cook the Quinoa.
For the dressing:
– 1/2 cup Extra virgin olive oil
– 1/4 cup Balsamic vinegar
– 1.5 tbsp Honey flavored Dijon Mustard (French’s makes a good one. If you only have regular dijon mustard, add a few drops of Maple syrup or Honey).
Start out by filling a pot with water (or 1/2 water, 1/2 broth). For quantities, check the box of Quinoa. Each brand is a bit different. Set the element to High and wait for the water to boil before you pour in the Quinoa. The brand I use says to cook it for 12 minutes but you should start checking around the 8 minute mark. I like my Quinoa a bit crunchy.
Mince the shallot and red pepper into thin slices.
Open the can of beans and clean any gunk or gooey liquid off of them with a bit cold water (I manage to do it right out of the can but some prefer to use a colander).
Slice the Swiss chard into ribbons (1-2 inches thick).
Mix everything but the Quinoa into a big serving bowl. When the Quinoa is ready, strain it and let it cool a bit. Once it has reached room temperature, add it to the salad.
Put the dressing ingredients together and mix them in with the rest of the ingredients.
There you go! A delicious salad that’s healthy and easy to prepare.
Alternate serving suggestions: Add a diced chicken breast, or some croutons made with pita bread.
Recipe 2: Swiss Chard, Chive and parsley pesto
Makes enough for 4 servings of pasta
– 4 leaves of Swiss Chard, chopped
– 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 10-12 Chives
– 1 inch bunch of Italian Parsley
– 1 large clove of Garlic
– 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (or Parmesan flavored grated rice)
– Just put everything in the blender or use a hand mixer to chop everything up until you get a smooth consistence.
Serving suggestion: On linguine pasta with cheese or on some risotto.