It Friday! again and today I'm all set to go with a very clean digestive tract (ew. too much info) after eating a little of the CHARD last night (no really, it hasn't been bad at all, I just thought I'd make a little joke. Funny? No? Oh well.) . But anyway. It went down like this: Last night I re-read the tips given to me from June and Melita noting again that their recommendation was to buy the bright lights variety and also noting for the first time that the CHARD should have brightly colored stems. When I went to the store, there were no bright light CHARDS (what exactly is the plural of chard?) to be found so I stood there for awhile with two choices in my hands. I chose green CHARD with white stems and upon re-reading my directions, promptly kicked myself, then asked Jason to pick up the Rainbow variety (which has the multi-colored stems that CHARD is famous for... Maybe its the same as bright lights?).
I also had two different recipes I wanted to try- one from June and one from a poster I found (long story). So, for this New Food Friday I have a few comparisons....
Rainbow VS. Green Chard and...
Grill VS Steaming.
First of all, whats so great about CHARD?
Just a quick search on the internet tells me its and excellent source of vitamins A, K and C and a good source of magnesium, manganese, potassium, iron, vitamin E. Dr. Gourmet says:
Like other greens Swiss chard is really good for you. Eight ounces is only about 40 calories but contains 4 grams of fiber and over a full RDA of Vitamin C. As with other greens and high fiber foods it is going to be really healthy and help lower cholesterol. It is, however, very high in Vitamin K, so those taking Coumadin® (warfarin) should avoid eating it.
Alright, alright, its a pretty good veggie.
So, back to me:) I knew I wanted to prepare it two ways which I knew would be pushing it for me- I'm a one task at a time kind of person. But, it was all VERY, VERY easy. That's one big huge gold star in my book.
I honestly didn't do anything to the steamed CHARD. I found later that I could have washed it a little better- gritty dirt taste is never appealing- but I'm woman enough to admit I was lazy and merely passed it through the faucet a time or two. So, that problem would be easily solved. I cut of the stems, and broke it up. Boiled some water and used a steaming basket (thanks Melita). It only takes a few minutes- first batch I cooked too long- second one I did for five minutes or less and it seemed about right- still could have been less I think. Still, I didn't do anything to it. The result:
For the Grilled CHARD I used Pam 100% olive oil spray (I'm still trying to decide if this is weird. Is it better to brush on olive oil from the bottle? It certainly isn't easier. Your call) A little salt (be careful with this- my husband thought I went a little overboard- not me though) and a little pepper (tip- don't try to put the pepper on at the grill (like I did)- what if a big gust of wind comes or you dump a little to much on??? ahem. Cook directly on the grill for 2-3 minutes. The result:
The difference between green and rainbow CHARD is almost insignificant- in fact, Jason said he couldn't tell the difference. I personally thought it was just a little sweeter. Overall, CHARD tastes very much like spinach however, if I had to choose between the two, I'd choose CHARD every time. I always have to smother my spinach in balsamic vinegar to sweeten it up (If you haven't tried this, the combination of spinach and vinegar is incredible- not that it tastes amazing but the way the vinegar changes the flavor of the spinach is super surprising). I ate the steamed CHARD plain! Nothing added to it at all. I found it to be slightly sweet and mild.
So, here's how it worked out:
BEST/A SMIDGEN BETTER THAN OK LOOKING
As I said, green CHARD, rainbow CHARD, Ah same diff. Grilled CHARD- now that's different. Jason and I both looked at each other immediately after eating and said- "taste like cheeseburgers". That's because it picks up the flavors on the grill- is this a good thing or a hint that I need to clean my grill? I'm not sure. But I REALLY liked it! Jason didn't like it at all. He said the full stalk was difficult to handle and the leaves were not soft enough. I liked the smokey flavor, a lot. But since we both really, really liked it steamed- I deem that the winner. Steamed is softer (I think its kind of slimy) and more what you'd think of as a traditional way to eat it. I've seen several recipes that look great- some call for a bit of honey or maple syrup (Dr. Gourmet again) (hmmm that sounds interesting) and here's one I found in a quick search that looks interesting
- 1 lb Swiss chard, chopped
- 1 medium clove Chopped Garlic
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- 3 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- salt and black pepper to taste
- 6 kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 1 tsp tamari soy sauce
phew. I'm tired now! Hope you enjoy. If you try it, give me a shout. I'd like to know what you think...
PS. Sam was happy to hold a piece in his hand for a very long time
but the minute he put it in his mouth it was over- he even scrapped his tongue to make sure it was off. He does that with every new food. Except for cupcakes.
Have a good one!