To be honest, I can’t leave the famers market without getting a big bunch of rainbow chard. The first time I bought this beautiful green was because of its appearance, but shortly after I started truly appreciating its other qualities. Apart from being rich with vitamins, chard has a sweet and delicate flavour, more refined comparing to other greens. It also can be used in various dishes: soups, frittatas, stews, bakes, fritters, salads and gratins! You may use the leaves and stalks in one or separate dishes, it’s up to you!
When buying chard, make sure you choose the one that has bright and solid leaves and stalks. Wrapped in plastic, you can store this green in the fridge for about 2-4 days.
Chard and lentil bowl with yoghurt dressing
- ½ bunch of chard leaves
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 large ripe tomatoes, seeds removed and roughly chopped
- A bunch of parsley, leaves only
- 200 g of red lentils
For yoghurt dressing:
- 1 cup (250 ml) of Greek yoghurt
- A big handful of basil leaves
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper
- First, you need to blanch the greens. Bring a large pan of water to a boil and immerse leaves for 10-15 seconds. Then drain, cool and chop roughly.
- In a deep sauté pan heat a good drizzle of olive oil over a medium heat and add shallots. Cook until soft and coloured nicely.
- Add tomatoes and chard leaves to a pan and cook for a few minutes until heated through.
- Season well with salt and pepper and add parsley.
- Meanwhile cook red lentils following the instructions on the pack. You may use vegetable stock instead of water.
- For yoghurt dressing: simply put all ingredients in a hand blender container and process until smooth.
- Divide lentils and chard sauté between 4 bowls and add some dressing, mix everything and enjoy!
Griddled rainbow chard stems with brown butter vinaigrette
- Stems from 1 large bunch of rainbow chard
- Olive oil
- Freshly ground pepper (I use mix with white pepper)
For brown butter vinaigrette:
- 35 g salted butter
- Small wedge of lemon
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- Prepare a big bowl of iced water.
- Wash and trim stems. Bring a large pan of water to a boil. Blanche chard stems for 2-3 minutes depending on their size. Don’t put a whole bunch in a pot, do it by batches. Drain stems and put when in the iced water to prevent further cooking and refresh their colour. Drain again and pat dry.
- Heat griddled pan on a medium high heat.
- Drizzle stems with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper. Toss very thoroughly.
- Cook stems by batches till charred.
- Meanwhile make brown butter vinaigrette: heat 35g of salted butter in a fraying pan over medium-high heat for few minutes till it foams and turns beautiful nutty colour. Pour it in a small bowl and add a squeeze of lemon juice. You will have about 3 tbsp of brown butter.
- Add a white balsamic vinegar and shallot to the butter and whisk lightly until smooth.
- Pour the vinaigrette over the hot stems and serve immediately sprinkling your dish with hazelnuts.
Add any additional notes here.
Soup with rainbow chard and poached eggs
- 2 shallots, roughly chopped
- 1 leek (white part), roughly chopped
- 1 thick slice of pumpkin, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1-1,5 litres vegetable stock (homemade preferably), hot
- 2 ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
- ½ bunch of rainbow chard leaves, roughly chopped
- Olive oil
- Salt, pepper
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a big pan over a medium heat.
- When heated enough, add all vegetables except tomatoes and chard leaves to the pan. Stir to cover it with oil, season well with salt and pepper, cover with a lid on and cook for about 10 minutes.
- Add stock to the pan and bring to boil, then reduce the heat to a medium–low and simmer until pumpkin and carrots are almost cooked through, for about 25-30 minutes. The quantity of stock you add to the pan depends on how thick or watery you want your soup to be.
- Then add tomatoes and chard leaves to the pan and simmer for another 10-15 minutes. Check the seasoning and adjust it if needed.
- Meanwhile poach 6 eggs (follow the instructions).
- When everything is ready, divide the soup between 6 bowls, add poached eggs and sprinkle with pecorino or parmigiano shavings.
- Serve hot with toasted Maltese bread.
Bruschetta with chard
To make 4 big bruschettas
- Olive oil
- 1 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced
- 4 big leaves of rainbow chard, ribs trimmed, leaves coarsely chopped
- 4 slices of crusty Maltese bread
- Pine nuts
- Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a big heavy pan over a medium heat. Add garlic and onion and sauté until fragrant and lightly coloured.
- Add chard . Sauté until the leaves are wilted and tender, just for a few minutes.
- Meanwhile toast the slices of bread.
- Season sautéed leaves to taste with salt and pepper. Remove from heat.
- Divide mixture between bread slices, sprinkle with pine nuts, parmiggiano shavings and some more olive oil if you want.