This Week’s Veggie Feast
Swiss Chard, Dill Weed, Garlic Scapes, Spicy Greens with Nasturtium Blossoms, Green Onions, Asparagus
New this Week
Most greens need to be stemmed before cooking, as the stems are too tough to eat. Swiss chard is the exception. These rainbow-colored stems have a similar texture to celery and can be used as such. The light green, gently-lobed rutabaga greens can be treated like a mild mustard green. Added to a stir fry, cooked greens, or cooked with bacon, these greens will bring a nice mild bite to the dish.
Chard stems and leaves can be treated as two separate vegetables. The stems can be treated like celery and generally need to be cooked longer. Leaves can be versatile; doing well as a quick sauté, added to soups, savory tarts or braised. Using a knife or your hands, remove the leaf from the stem and cut separately.
If you or your family likes to make pizza, try putting the Swiss chard on pizza in place of spinach. If the leaves are tough, blanch them first. Otherwise cut leaves into bite size pieces.
Although native to parts of western Asia, dill weed is usually associated with Russian and European cuisine where it is paired with fish (gravlax), pickles, yogurt, sour cream, and potatoes.
Garlic scapes are the flower top off hardneck garlic. They look like a long green, curly pencil. The entire scape is edible, but there can be a tough section at the base of the yellowish-white blossom that could use more cooking time. The green stems are most commonly cut into small pieces and cooked. Scapes are cut before the plant starts to fully flower, and provide a mild fresh garlic flavor that is great added to any dish where you would use a garlic clove. The sugar content is a bit higher so fresh scapes are best added towards the end of cooking to avoid any burning or bitter flavor. The scapes need to be stored in a plastic bag in the refrigerator and are best used fresh since they do not store like whole garlic bulbs. Garlic scapes are mild in flavor so you can add extra when substituting for garlic cloves. They are a great addition to breakfast scrambles and stir fries.
Nasturtiums are beautiful, bright edible flowers. We munch on them straight off of the plant. You can add them (uncooked!) to a bed of greens or pasta to brighten up your plate. They have a bit of zip.
Swiss Chard leaves
1/2 cup uncooked rice (any kind)
1/2 lb ground lamb
1/8 cup minced onion or garlic
1 quart tomato sauce
1/4 cup (or more depending on taste) mint chopped
1/4 cup water
Salt and pepper to taste
Combine rice , ground lamb, salt, pepper and garlic in a bowl. Flatten chard leaves with a rolling pin to break the stem. Add 1/4 cup rice/meat mixture onto leaf. Roll from top of leaf to bottom, trim excess stem. Stack into an oiled baking dish. Mix mint in with tomato sauce, pour over chard rolls. Bake at 400 degrees for 1 hour, add water, bake another hour or until rice is thoroughly cooked.
Swiss Chard and Herb Tart
Source: Food Network
For the crust:
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
For the filling:
- 1 bunch Swiss chard
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup shredded aged cheddar cheese, plus 1/4 cup shaved aged cheddar for topping
- 1/2 cup half-and-half
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Make the crust: Put the flour, sugar and fine salt in a food processor and pulse to combine. Add the butter and pulse until the mixture looks like coarse meal. Add 2 tablespoons ice water and pulse until the dough just comes together, adding up to 2 more tablespoons ice water if needed. Transfer to a sheet of plastic wrap and pat into a disk; wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.
- Oil or butter a 9-inch springform pan. Roll out the dough into a 12-inch round on a floured surface. Ease into the prepared pan and press into the bottom and up the side; trim to make a 2-inch-high crust. Prick the bottom a few times with a fork; refrigerate 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Place the dough-lined pan on a baking sheet. Line the dough with foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until the edges are just lightly golden, about 20 minutes. Remove the foil and weights; continue baking until the crust is lightly golden all over, 15 to 20 more minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool completely. (The crust can be made a day ahead; cover and store at room temperature.)
- Make the filling: Thinly slice the Swiss chard leaves and cut the stems into 1/4-inch slices. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and chard stems, season with kosher salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and just beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the dill and lemon zest and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add the chard leaves and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the parsley, 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and pepper to taste. Let the filling cool, then squeeze out the excess moisture.
- Transfer the filling to a food processor; pulse until coarsely chopped. Transfer to a bowl and stir in the shredded cheddar, half-and-half, parmesan, egg and nutmeg. Pour into the crust and bake until set, 45 to 50 minutes. Top immediately with shaved cheddar and let melt. Serve warm or at room temperature.