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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Chick-Peas and Swiss Chard

Last week when I posted the Sticky Cinnamon Roll recipe I received some teasing from a follower about how here she was trying to eat healthier and here I was posting those sticky buns of goodness.To make things up with the follower I promised to post a recipe for something healthier.
  We try our best to eat a healthy and well balanced diet but we are human,have sweet teeth (or is that tooth?) and I love to bake.Everyone at our house but Issac loves this dish.Issac is apposed to cooked leafy greens and sweet potatoes.And not being one of those parents that forces their kids to eat the things they don't like I leave him be about leafy greens and sweet potatoes,he eats everything else so he will be fine.
   The dish I have chosen to share comes from my MOST favorite cookbook, "Please to the Table ,the Russian Cookbook".By: Anya Bremzen and John Welchman.  I use this book so much it is dog eared and a bit tatty.One of the things I love about this book is the use of common foods in a way that is different to American cooking.But not so strange that no one will eat.I have also noticed how economical many of the recipes are but taste like you spent lots of cash.Many of the recipes use tons of veggies so it is a great book to have on hand in the summer when the garden is bumping
  We always grow Swiss Chard, either the Bright Lights which gives you multi- colored stems or one the varieties that has all red stems.This year we are trying for the first time the Giant Fordhook Swiss Chard,I saw a photo of these giant leaves and thought they would be fun to try.Swiss Chard is very easy to grow and by only cutting a few leaves from the plants at a time you can have Chard until the frost kills it off.In some places and when we have a very mild winter the Chard will grow year round.In the introduction for the recipe the author states that in Russia Swiss Chard is called "horse's sorrel" and can be used as a substitute for grape leaves when making dolma. The flavor of Chard is stronger than Spinach but much milder than Kale or Mustard Greens.

Chick-Peas and Swiss Chard:
  1 pound Swiss Chard (any color)  rinsed and drained - This is usually one bunch if buying from a store.
  3 Tablespoons olive oil
  1 small onion cut in half and sliced
  1 clove garlic sliced
  1 Cup canned or cooked chick-peas,drained
  1 large,meaty,fresh,ripe tomato,peeled.seeded and chopped.-  I never bother to peel.
  2 Tablespoons water
  2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  salt and pepper to taste.

Remove and discard the stems.( I like the stems and use them.) from the Swiss Chard and chop the leaves coarsely.
Heat olive oil in a large skillet over low heat.Add onion  and garlic saute until the onion is softened but not colored about 5 minutes.
Add chick-peas and tomato and cook,stirring for 5 minutes.Add Swiss Chard and water,cover and simmer until the chard is wilted 3 minutes.
Remove from heat.Stir in lemon juice ,salt and pepper.Allow to cool to room temperature before serving.Serves 4.
I don't always let it cool to room temperature but it is best if you do,the lemon flavor comes out nicely. The book also says that the dish can be served cold like a salad which I like very much. I have mixed the left over Chick-Peas and Swiss Chard with left over CousCous and came up with a nice salad type dish.

So here you are Lacy the recipe I promised you.I am hoping it looks interesting enough that you are encouraged to try Swiss Chard for the first time.Let me know what you think.

 Last night I discovered my new favorite date spot,The Hammock @ Hrafinstaad.Chance and I spent a lovely evening laying in the hammock watching the sky darken through the tree branches and the rising of the Moon and Venus.Bliss right out our back door.


  1. I remember a certain grandmother that lived in Woodburn (maybe you've heard of that town)... she always grew Swiss Chard... back in the day, I had no idea what it was or why anyone would want to grow it... now, it is one of my favorite things...

  2. Farmer- Would that be the same Grandma who made Tator-tot casserole? I was not to sure what that was either back then but unlike chard I still don't know if I'd eat it.

  3. I love swiss chard and always grow it here. Like you I use the stems as well as the leaves. I find if you chop stems and gently cook them with a knob of butter and a little water for about five minutes, you can add the shredded leaves for another couple of minutes and they taste great. I use a little salt (Lo salt usually) and a lot of freshly ground black pepper. yum. Like your recipe, thank you.

  4. And I just bought swiss chard!

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