Sunday, November 15, 2009

Swiss chard with golden beets

  • rainbow Swiss chard, rinsed and dried
  • golden beets, greens removed
  • fresh garlic, chopped fine
  • olive oil
  • nutmeg
  • coarse salt
  • fresh pepper

Rinse outside of beets with cold water to remove any surface dirt. Place on baking tray or oven safe dish and drizzle with olive oil, bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until tender. Allow to cool and simply remove the skin on them by peeling back and gently pulling it off. Cut into bite sized pieces and put aside until you make the chard (they'll keep for about a week in the fridge). Separate the leaves of the chard from the stem. Roughly rip the chard leaves and dice the stem into small pieces. In a large skillet over medium high heat cook garlic in a swirl of oil until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add a little more oil and cook the chard stems with the garlic until both are just tender, about 3-5 minutes. Begin adding the chard leaves in batches, tossing in the pan to wilt down, adding a little more olive oil when necessary. Add the beets right before the final batch. Once all the chard has wilted remove from heat and season with a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste.

The dish: An interesting side effect of keeping this blog is whenever I cook I find myself thinking about what I'll write for what I'm preparing. As I made this dish I was thinking back to a post about Ikea and how efficient they are at packaging items. This came to mind because Swiss chard is actually two veggies in one; a leafy green like kale or spinach and a stem like celery. Both have a distinctive taste and unless you want ultra soggy leaves or too crunchy stem they should really be prepared separately. Of course, the Swiss are so good at fitting things in that even their vegetables are double packed. It seemed like a great idea until a few days later when I remembered that Ikea is Swedish and not Swiss (a common mistake?). It didn't really matter though, because the chard and beets tasted great and Kim and I enjoyed all of it. I let our favorite farmers know how well the flavors worked together and they reminded me that I made this dish with more ingredients than necessary, as I could have just cooked the beet greens and had a very similar taste and texture to the chard. It seemed fitting as I had already goofed the blog entry, so why not discard the greens and add some nearly identical greens in their place? In spite of my best efforts to seemingly screw up everything about this dish, it worked out great and the colors of the chard played nicely with the hue of the beets.

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