Moroccan Swiss Chard Carrot Salad

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It’s winter in New York. The weather has been vacillating between cold and colder or snow and slush. While yesterday was snowing, today it’s all being washed away with rainy slush. So I am home with a cold and I just want something easy to eat that will be fulfilling and yet wash out my system from this cold. That being said, at this time of year a lot of root vegetables are in. In particular, carrots and celery. Couple that with swiss chard and harissa (to burn out this cold) and a bright sprinkling of lemon and we have a medicinal dish.

According to Chinese medicine and basically all ancient food traditions, we should be eating to the seasons and during the colder seasons, increase the heat in our body. Makes sense. So this Swiss Chard & Carrot salad, which is not only delicious, has tons of garlic (which acts as an antibiotic) and harissa, which is a hot and spicy red pepper sauce that will dry out this cold. If you can’t find harissa, which is usually available at an ethnic supermarket, then replace it with hot sauce. Or you can purchase from my dear friend, Osi at Osi Living, here. You can be sure, it’s organic and made with the finest ingredients.

This recipe has been adapted from Wolfgang Puck’s contribution to The New York Times Passover Cookbook.  On these colder days, when you wrap a thick cardigan around your thick wool sweater, it’s the perfect recipe.

Yields 4 (as a side dish)

Ingredients
1∕3 cup olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, minced
6 thin long carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4 inch rounds
2 ribs celery,
peeled and cut into small chunks
1 large bunch Swiss chard or spinach, ribs and leaves, sliced thin

Dressing
Juice of 2 lemons
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon to 1 teaspoon of Harissa (depending on your level of heat preference)
Freshly ground Sea Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Heat the half oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and sauté until just fragrant.
  2. Then add the celery and carrots. Cook until the carrots start to soften or sweat. Add the Swiss chard and cook an additional 10 minutes, until very reduced and very tender.
  3. Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl, and pour over the vegetables, mixing thoroughly. Serve Moroccan Swiss Chard Carrot Salad at room temperature.

Swiss Chard Fritters

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If these fritters could be Persian, they would be called Kuku. Sounds like a funny name for a dish, but I am sure this dish existed before the English language was around. In any event, Kuku is a Persian Italian Frittata. Does that make sense? What I am trying to say, is that the western world knows this Frittata as an Italian dish, while the eastern world knows it as Kuku. So Kuku Sabzi, which means green Frittata is exactly that – made from leafy greens and herbs. This version is from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem and in it he combines Swiss Chard and feta cheese.

Straight out of a hot pan, Swiss chard fritters are crunchy on the outside, creamy in the middle and have the delicate flavor of Swiss chard, dill and parsley. Swiss chard fritters are a way to keep nutrient-rich greens in regular rotation in your diet without getting bored, and I sure need that right now because it’s snowing for the umphteenth time and I’m bored! You can treat these fritters like felafel and have some chummus on the side with it and a big leafy green salad. It just has that Mediterranean flair to it. Or just enjoy it as an appetizer.

Yields 14 fritters

 Ingredients

14 ounces (2 bunches) Swiss chard leaves, stems removed
1/2 cup chopped Italian parsley
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup chopped dill
1 1/2 teaspoons grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
3 tablespoons rice flour
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 large eggs
3 ounces crumbled feta cheese (1/2 cup)
Sea Sat and freshly ground pepper, for taste
Olive oil
Lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

Directions:

1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add chard and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from pot and drain well, patting leaves dry with a paper or kitchen towel.
2. Place chard in food processor with herbs, nutmeg, sugar, rice flour, garlic and eggs. Pulse until well blended. Fold in feta by hand. Add salt and pepper according to preference.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. When oil is hot, spoon in 1 heaping tablespoon of mixture for each fritter (you should be able to fit three fritters per batch). Press down gently on fritter to flatten. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side, until golden brown. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Add another tablespoon oil to pan and repeat. Serve warm, with lemon wedges (optional).

Quinoa and Swiss Chard with Parmesan

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Short of 2 weeks ago, my CSA started up for the season. This is my 4th year hosting the Great Neck, Long Island site (uhmm… that I started- bragging rights). Happy to say that over the years there has been an overwhelming response to the CSA in Great Neck, that it had to spill over to another site close by. Although there is less traffic in my garage, which is where my makeshift CSA is, I at least get to know everyone in my group on a more personal basis.

Typical of crops that grow well in the late spring, is the Swiss Chard- which made it’s first appearance the first week of the CSA. It contains a lot of fiber, and a host of antioxidant vitamins. It is a tall leafy green vegetable with a thick, crunchy stalk that comes in a fuchsia stem with wide fan-like green leaves. Chard belongs to the same family as beets and spinach and shares a similar taste profile: it has the bitterness of beet greens and the slightly salty flavor of spinach leaves. Both the leaves and stalk of chard are edible. I decided to cook it with quinoa, which is a complete protein and makes a fulfilling and satisfying dish that could last for a couple of meals. Cremini mushrooms are added, also known as the “younger” portobello mushroom, for a hearty and meaty chew against the nutty quinoa.

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound Swiss Chard, stems and leaves cut into 1/2 inch pieces, rinsed well
Coarse  Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper
Pinch of red pepper flakes
1 garlic clove, minced
12 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced thin
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
1/2 ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved

Directions

  1. Cook quinoa according to package instructions. Meanwhile heat 1 teaspoon oil in a skillet over medium heat. Cook Swiss Chard, stirring until wilted and tender, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon salt and season with pepper. Add pepper flakes and toss. Transfer to a platter.
  2. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil and the garlic to skillet. Cook over medium heat, stirring until garlic is slightly golden, about 1 minute. Add mushrooms, and cook stirring occassionally, until they release their juices, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in cooked quinoa; cook to heat, about 1 minute and add thyme. Serve the mushroom-quinoa mixture over the Swiss chard, topped with parmesan.

Raisin Walnut Spiced Rice with Swiss Chard (Gluten Free, Vegan)

I know that most people dread Mondays- as it’s the end of the weekend, that time you have off from work to spend your time as you wish. For others, like yours truly- I feel Mondays marks the start of a new week which always brings the potential for something new and exciting. I embrace that.

Something for your Monday sleepy heads- Meatless Monday is a movement or campaign that provides information and recipes you need to start each week with healthy, environmentally friendly meat-free alternatives. Their goal is to help you reduce your meat consumption by 15% in order to improve your personal health and the health of the planet.
Presidents Wilson, Truman and Roosevelt galvanized the nation with voluntary meatless days during both world wars. Meatless Mondays intention is to revitalize this American tradition. They are spearheading a broad-based, grassroots movement that spans all borders and demographic groups. By cutting out meat once a week, we can improve our health, reduce our carbon footprint and lead the world in the race to reduce climate change.

This dish has everything I love in a meal; brown rice with walnuts, which gives it a hearty crunch, while the raisins and ginger tie the whole dish with a tad of sweetness. Of course the Swiss chards soaks up all the flavor adding peaks of  forest green to this robust dish. This rice dish is so filling it can be eaten on its own or as a side dish- thanks to Jan at Domestic Diva Blogspot who presented this recipe to Meatless Monday. 

Serves 4
Ingredients
2 cups brown rice, cooked
2 tablespoons olive oil

2 shallots, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1/2 cup jumbo raisins

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

2 cups Swiss chard, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped

Salt and Pepper, to taste


Directions
      1      Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the ginger and cook for another minute until fragrant.

      2      Stir and combine the raisins and walnuts and cook for 3-5 minutes.  Stir in the Swiss chard and continue cooking for 4-6 minutes, or until wilted.

      3      Stir to combine the cooked rice to the mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook covered for another ten minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season with salt and pepper and garnish with chopped parsley.

Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts & Raisins (Gluten Free, Vegan)

Swiss chard is a classic staple vegetable in the summer months which is at its peak growth. Similar to spinach and beets with a flavor that is bitter, pungent and slightly salty. It’s not surprising that it is related to beets with its red veins and stalk. Swiss chard can’t be missed in your local market with its tall leafy fan like leaves and thick colorful stalk. Swiss chard is truly one of the vegetables that has an impressive list of health promoting nutrients.

This week I did not have to go to my local market for my swiss chard, because it was right in my CSA box. It happens to be that swiss chard is such an easy dish to prepare… saute in a little oil and add your favorite nut and dried fruit and you have an simple side dish prepared in minutes.

This recipe comes from the Golden Earthworm CSA, although originally came from a french culinary cookbook.  The sweetness of the raisins and the nutty, buttery crunch of the pine nuts make chard completely irresistible–and it cooks in about 3 minutes.

Ingredients
1 bunch Swiss chard

3 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary
1/3 cup raisins or golden raisins
2 tablespoons pine nuts
salt and freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
Directions
    1. Remove the chard stems and the thick central vein from each leaf. Chop the leaves very coarsely.

 

  • Using a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan over medium high heat; heat oil until sizzling. Add the chard and the rosemary, stirring well to coat the chard with the oil mixture. Cook, stirring constantly, for another minute until the chard has wilted to about half its original volume.
  • Add raisins and pine nuts, stirring to combine evenly, and continue cooking until any moisture has evaporated. The entire cooking process should take no more than about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.