June 19, 2008 at 11:00 am 10 comments

Swiss Chard

I apologize for not posting much this week.  I’ve been struck down by some type of flu that’s putting me to bed right after work each day.   But I didn’t want to leave you for too long without a recipe, in case you’re headed to the farmers market this weekend and might be interested in what to do with a bunch of colorful swissh chard. 

How to destem a leaf of swiss chard

I did want to be sure to include a refersher for “how to prep swiss chard”, since there are a lot of new readers that weren’t here for last year’s tutorial.  Basically, make sure you cut out the tough center stem (see picture).  Generally recipes call for it to be cut into ribbons, which you achieve by stacking the stem-less leaves in a pile, roll into a cigar, and then slice crosswise.  Easy-peezy! 

Cooked couscous

A very quick note on making superb Israeli couscous too:  toast the dry uncooked couscous in a large skillet until it’s beginning to turn a darker shade of tan.  Add to boiling water and proceed as normal.  This toasting helps elminate some of the startch that would make the couscous clump otherwise.

In the oven

Hopefully I’ll be back and raring to go soon!  In the meantime, I thought I’d throw out the idea of a Q&A on vegetables you might be seeing in season in your area but don’t know how to prepare.  Put your questions in the comments below and I’ll try to collect them all into an informative post. 

A slice

Three-Cheese Swuss Card Couscous Bake
Adapted from The Six O’Clock Scramble

1 C. uncooked Israeli couscous
1 C. pasta sauce
½ C. grated parmesan cheese
2 C. (about one market bunch) swiss chard, cut into fine ribbons
2 eggs, lightly beaten
½ C. low-fat ricotta cheese
¼ t. freshly grated nutmeg
½ C. mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F and lightly grease a 9-inch glass pie plate with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the couscous just until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Drain and put in a medium bowl.  To the cooked couscous, add half a cup of the pasta sauce and the parmesan cheese.  Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Stir and spread the mixture out in the prepared pie plate, reserving about a cup for later.

In another bowl, place a tablespoon or two of water and the cut swiss chard.  Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on high for one minute.  Remove and drain off water.  To the swiss chard, add the eggs, ricotta, nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and spread over the pasta in the pie plate.  Top with the remaining couscous, spreading as evenly as possible.  Sprinkle the top with the mozzarella.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese in melted and slightly brown.  Serve hot.

(serves 6-8 )

The finished pie minus a few slices

Entry filed under: Purely Vegetables, Recipes. Tags: , , , , .

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10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. erik_flannestad  |  June 19, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Actually, I really like the “tough center stems”, especially on rhubarb chard, where it has an almost beet-like flavor and intensity.

    If you cut it fairly thinly against the grain, and cook it a bit longer than the leaves, it also adds a nice crispy textural component to chard dishes.

    I’ve read many Europeans also prize the stems over the leaves. Shows what a pretentious git I am.

    PS. When the chard finally went to seed in our community garden this year it grew over 6 feet tall! Crazy!

  • 2. fallenangel65  |  June 19, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    I was just going to ask if there was anything you could so with the stems so it is nice to know it may be personal taste.

    Beet recipes would be greatly appreciated – nice to know something to with them other than boiling them. I didn’t even know until a couple of years ago they came in any other variety than red.

    Fava beans & Bean shoots would nice too.


  • 3. gintoino  |  June 20, 2008 at 10:48 am

    I planted some swiss chard this year but it hasn’t grown much. I’ve been eating the beets greens and I love them (also love the beets now that I tried them roated with garlic). I never cut the stem out,as I like to fell the crunchiness . This recipe sounds like something I could easilly eat every day (I have this stupid thing that when I like something I will eat it several days in a row…)

  • 4. Maggie  |  June 20, 2008 at 11:44 am

    This looks fantastic! I’ll be trying it very soon.

  • 5. erik_flannestad  |  June 20, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    In our temperate San Francisco climate, chard is an over winter crop. You plant the seeds in summer/fall. It doesn’t do much. Stays a couple feet tall, just socking away the nutrients. Then in April/May of the next spring it goes crazy, jumping up to about 6′ tall.

  • 6. VegeYum Ganga  |  June 20, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Oh, Get well soon. It must have been aweful for you. I love this couscous, and thanks for the toasting tip.

  • 7. Colleen  |  June 23, 2008 at 2:36 pm

    I cannot wait to try this couscous! Thanks for posting the recipe 🙂

  • 8. Sophie  |  June 25, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    Now this looks like a cool alternative to a pasta dish! 🙂

  • 9. Enjay  |  June 30, 2008 at 11:15 pm

    Fresh shelled beans and okra, please.

  • 10. Three-Cheese Swiss Chard Couscous Bake « Coffee & Cornbread  |  September 4, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    […] Couscous and Swiss Chard Pie I tried. Adapted from Straight From The Farm, recipe link […]


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