May 18, 2012

Recipe: Sauteed Swiss Chard with (Pastured) Eggs

 Saturday lunch with Swiss chard and greenmarket eggs

A favorite ingredient of mine is Swiss chard -- a leafy green related to beets but resembling spinach that is packed with nutrients.  It's available at the supermarket and greenmarket in white, yellow, and red varieties (or as a "rainbow" bundle).   I usually buy the white variety as this has a mild, sweet taste compared with the yellow (less mild) or red (slightly bitter).   Chard is GERD-friendly for me -- I always feel content in my gut after eating it, so it's on my dinner list at least once a week.

The chard in the recipe below pairs well with other protein sources, including beans, veggie burgers, and whole wheat pasta.   During the spring season, I cook with a variety of alliums -- spring onions, garlic scapes, chives, leeks and such -- as they complement the many new greens arriving at the market.

For some, garlic and onions can be GERD triggers.  I've lucked out on this one -- I have no problems with these.  As always, it's "trial and error" in getting to know what affects our individual guts.


Pastured eggs*
1 bunch Swiss chard (white is the mildest)
2-3 garlic scapes (substitute crushed garlic clove or any allium if needed)
pinch of salt
1 T. olive oil

1. Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet or other favorite saute pan.   Chop and add the garlic scapes (or other allium).

Garlic scapes

Here's what the scapes look like before chopping...

2. Saute on low heat, covered, until softened.  Meanwhile, wash and trim the chard:  wash the leaves and stems, and discard the very ends of the stalk.  Chop the stems and separate from the leaves.   The stems will be sauteed first.  Add to the scapes, cover, and continue to steam-saute, stirring occasionally.

Separate stems from leaves.  Chop stems.

3.  Stack the leaves on top of each other and, with a large knife, cut into thin slices.  You can further chop into smaller pieces if desired.   When the stems are softened, add the sliced leaves.  Use a wooden spatula to "fold" the leaves into the pan -- fold the stem/scapes around the leaves, so everything is well mixed and the leaves are starting to wilt in the heated pan.

Add a few splashes of water:  a few tablespoons?  1/4 cup?  It will depend on how wet the contents are already -- you don't want a pool of water in the pan but enough water so the contents do not scorch.   At this point, add a quick sprinkle of salt.  JUST A TOUCH.  The salt is more for its cooking properties than for flavor.  Cover and continue to steam-saute, stirring/folding occasionally.

Folding the leaves into the pan.
4. Check every few minutes, adding more water if needed.  When everything looks softened, taste periodically and stop when desired softness/taste is reached.  (There comes a point when the greens may be "done" but still taste not quite ready; keep tasting and you will know when they are done.)

Done and ready for the plate!

* A word about pastured eggs, and eggs in general:  As far as eggs go, I am at the point where I am only comfortable eating pastured eggs from "happy hens."  This means sourcing my eggs from small-scale farms where hens can go about the business of being hens, walking freely around the farm (and neighboring farms!), scratching, running, eating bugs, being cared for and respected by their human caretakers, and doing other activities of interest to chickens.   I have a small pool of "vetted" eggs that I buy at the greenmarket or "foodie" grocery; if they are not available, I go without eggs that week.  Lucky for J. and I, one brunch spot in our neighborhood uses those eggs so we can enjoy egg sandwiches in good conscience. :)

Cage-free eggs, by the way, are no longer a phrase with meaning -- cage-free can mean thousands of birds in literally "cage free" indoor lots -- not that great.  For more information about commercial egg production and why it bothers me, Google "eggs and factory farm."   Ghastly!

No comments:

Post a Comment