Tuesday, 27 September 2011
We recently signed up to Abel & Cole again for a small veg and fruit box delivery each week and our first one arrived this morning. I was so thrilled to see a big bunch of rainbow Chard in it! We tried to grow chard this year, but the slugs never gave it a chance.
I know we could use slug pellets, but we just don't like to use them (bad for the birds) and the other stuff is largely in-effective. One night Todd went out into the garden and picked up no less than 40 slugs. We are going to have to do something about that before next year for sure.
Anyways there was this lovely big bunch of beautiful rainbow coloured Bright Lights Chard in it and of course I just had to cook it tonight for our supper. It was so very pretty with it's deep emerald green leaves riddled with beautiful veins and stems of raspberry pink, blood red, orange and yellow . . .
I just love chard . . . or silverbeet as it is also called. It has an almost earthy flavour . . . and is beautiful to eat when properly cooked. You don't to over cook either the leaves or the stems . . . it goes without saying that the slimmer stems are a bit more tender than the thicker ones, but no less tasty. They just need to be cooked that little bit longer.
I always separate the stems from the leaves and cook them separately, which seems to work very well for me. It's delicious simply steamed and then sprinkled with a dressing of lemon juice and olive oil, or vinegar as my mother used to use . . . but if you really want it to shine . . . prepare it as a gratin!
Oh so unctuously rich and creamy . . . with earthy undertones, and just a hint of sharpness from some grainy mustard, this is a real winner all round.
Me . . . I could eat just a plate of this and nothing else, but . . . we had it with some steamed and crushed pink firs from the garden and some lightly grilled Barnsley Chops (double lamb chops, English of course!)that I had simply sprinkled with a mixture of chopped rosemary, lemon zest and minced fresh garlic before grilling.
A most scrummy supper indeed! (The quantities given are for 4 as a side dish, but would make a very delicious light supper for two, served on it's own with some crusty bread for mopping up all those lucious juices.)
*A Delicious Gratin of Chard*
Earthy and moreishly delicious! This is quite simply the best.
450g of swiss chard (a scant pound)
400ml of double cream (about 1 2/3 cup)
2 TBS grainy mustard
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 ounce freshly grated Parmesan Cheese (1/4 cup)
Preheat your oven to 190*C/375*F/gas mark 5. Butter a shallow baking dish and set aside. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to the boil.
Wash your chard really well. Cut the stalks from the leaves. Cut the stalks into short to medium sized pieces. Plunge the stems into the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes, then scoop out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the leaves and leave in the boiling water only until they are wilted. Toss the stems and leaves together (shake offy excess water) and then place them into the buttered dish. Whisk together the cream, mustard and salt and black pepper to taste. Pour this mixture over top of the chard. Sprinkle with the grated cheese.
Bake in the heated oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, until bubbling and the top has lightly browned. Remove from the oven and serve.
And in The Cottage today, a delicous Blueberry Gingerbread.