Monday, July 18, 2011

Cooking with Swiss Chard

I'll admit it. I'd never eaten Swiss chard until this year. And no, it's not the same as how I've never eaten jelly or cottage cheese. Those are strange looking foods. But Swiss chard looks delicious! It's just not something my Mom cooked with when I was young, so I was not familiar with it.

Swiss chard is one of the world's healthiest foods. It contains phytonutrients that are powerful antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, and lots of Vitamins K, A, C, magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium. Chard is best grown from seed, but can also be bought in flats from the nursery. It's a superstar in the vegetable world; it was voted #1 for the 2011 One Seed Chicago program.

Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach, and is similarly bitter, pungent, and slightly salty. Cooking brings out a sweeter taste. I've included my favorite Swiss chard recipe below. It's one that even the kids love, but then again, mine will eat anything in quiche form! If you've never cooked with chard, now is the time to try it!

Swiss Chard and Salmon Quiche
serves 4

2 salmon fillets, cooked and flaked
4 eggs
2/3 c milk
1 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cups Swiss chard, chopped
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/4 t ground nutmeg
1 pre-made frozen deep dish pie shell

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook salmon in your preferred way - oven bake, pan fry, poach, etc. Use a fork to flake the salmon into bite sized pieces. Beat eggs with milk in mixing bowl. Mix in salmon.

Sautee onions and chard in olive oil until onion is translucent. Season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir into mixing bowl with the egg and salmon mixture. Pour into pie shell. Place quiche on a cookie sheet and bake for 45 minutes or until eggs are cooked in center. Enjoy!

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