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New Ingredient: Swiss Chard

February 14, 2011

Thanks to everyone who commented this morning about changes to Travel, Eat, Repeat. If you missed that post, check it out (and then come back here!). Blogs are fluid and I hope that as I grow and evolve, TER is right there with me. 😀

One thing that won’t change is my weekly New Ingredient Challenge. I’ve discovered some delicious new foods this way and hope you’re learning about tasty treats, too. This week’s ingredient may be my favorite, although I’m not sure whether it’s the vegetable itself or just the incredible recipe.

Either way, Swiss chard is certainly the most beautiful vegetable I’ve ever eaten!

When trying to describe the beauty of Swiss chard, the first description that came to mind was, ‘It looks like Starbursts!’ Isn’t it sad that something so gorgeous given by nature is immediately compared to processed junk?

Swiss chard is a leafy green similar to spinach and kale. It contains high amounts of vitamin A, K and C and is packed with protein and fiber. Texture-wise, Swiss chard isn’t as hearty and thick as kale, which I find has a bitter taste.

I planned to treat Swiss chard like spinach and after finding a New York Times recipe for Curried Lentils With Sweet Potatoes and Swiss Chard, I was sold.

This recipe calls for just the leaves, although the stalk (or ribs) are edible.

A little chopping, a lot of spices and an hour later, it was time to try Swiss chard for the first time.

I wish the blog had Smell-O-Vision so you could get a whiff of this.

Dare I say this is one of the tastiest meals I’ve ever cooked? Note: I halved the recipe and ended up with 3-4 big servings; however, I kept the original amount of spices so each bite would be full of flavor.

Swiss chard has a mild taste and in this dish, it’s totally dominated by the flavors of curry powder and garam masala. I’m not sure how it tastes raw — Swiss chard salad, anyone?

Nutritionists recommend eating the rainbow. Eat your Swiss chard and you’re well on your way to good health. (And if you don’t have any Swiss chard around the house tonight but you do have spinach or kale, make this recipe ASAP!)

Have you tried Swiss chard? How did you cook it? Many recipes called for sauteeing (with olive oil and garlic) or boiling it.

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. February 15, 2011 9:43 am

    I agree–it’s a beautiful food. That recipe looks amazing!

  2. February 15, 2011 11:34 am

    Swiss chard is SO pretty, but I never know quite what to do with it so I admire from afar then buy spinach. Maybe sometime I’ll take a cue from you and be brave!

  3. February 16, 2011 12:34 am

    I’ve only used Swiss chard once before in Italian Chard Stuffing and I really liked it. I’m excited to try this recipe though!

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