Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Rainbow Chard

I've cooked with chard, a great source of potassium and vitamins A and C, and an abundant provider (providing over 4 times the daily requirements) of vitamin K, before, but this was the first time that I used the chard stalks. I started with a lovely bunch of organic rainbow chard and, leaf by leaf, I carefully rinsed and then, by hand, pulled off chunks of the leaf. I took all the stalks and cut them into thirds; I left the topmost portions of the stalks with the leaves if they tapered to become quite thin.

I then started some onions and shallots sauteing in extra virgin olive oil (which is the oil I use almost all of the time, with occasional use of canola and very occasional use of sesame or grapeseed). A minute or two into the saute, I added the chopped stalks. I stirred periodically and cooked till the onion was clear and the stalks were soft. Then I added some cumin seed and chopped ginger, and the hand-shredded leaves. I sprinkled salt on top of the leaves to help them to shrivel and cook down, and covered the pan for a minute or two, then stirred everything together. I lowered the heat to a low-medium and kept the large pan covered, stirring every few minutes for a total of about 5 minutes till the leaves were wilted; in the last few minutes, I also added some delicious sweet orange bell pepper slices. I sprinkled some additional spices, such as hot chili pepper, on top and mixed in before serving.

I also made some brown basmati rice (cooked in vegetable broth as I usually do). I toasted some seeded ciabatta (Italian "slipper" bread - named due to the shape) and put hummus on top. Celery with baby carrots and olives rounded out the meal.


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