Ingredient Introduction #4 – Rainbow Chard

If you really want to taste the rainbow, skip the Skittles.

20130127-220936.jpg
Hit the produce section, go to the greenery, and grab the collage of colors know as rainbow chard.

20130127-221013.jpg
The stalks are spectacular… Orange, yellow, red, pink, magenta.

20130127-221428.jpg
The colors are infectious, flowing up the leaves like a glowing river with tremendous tributaries.

20130127-221457.jpg
This veggie variety is as healthy as it is picture-perfect.

20130127-221047.jpg
It’s gushing with goodies like vitamins A (excellent for eyes), K (benefits blood & bones), and C. Chard is also full of fiber and it’s packed with protein.

Rainbow chard is not its own variety. It’s actually a collection of various varieties. Together, they catch your eye. Why buy one color when you can have them all?

The leafy green is a relative of the beet.

I washed and dried the bunch. Then, I cut off the bottom 2 inches (or so) from each stalk. Then, I thinly sliced what was left of the stalk. As for the leaf, roll it over on itself (like a cigar or egg roll) and slice it into ribbons.

20130127-221121.jpg
You’ll need:

1 bunch of rainbow chard (prepared according to the instructions above)
1/2 a yellow onion, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, grated
3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 tablespoon of honey
The juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of Craisins (I used cherry Craisins)

In a pan, add 1 tablespoon of oil. Heat over medium-high, then add onion. Stir.

20130127-221155.jpg
While that cooks, fill a small cup with hot water and add the Craisins.

20130127-221227.jpg
That will help them plump up.

20130127-221254.jpg
Back to the onion.
After it starts to sweat, add a pinch of salt, and keep cooking.
When the onion starts to brown, add another tablespoon of oil, stir. Then add the grated garlic. Stir.
Immediately add the julienned chard, and then stir to get the garlic off the bottom of the pan so it doesn’t burn.
Add another tablespoon of oil, and a big pinch of salt. Stir to coat.
Cook over medium for about 5 minutes. Add the honey and lemon juice. Stir.
Let this cook down for about 10-15 minutes. It’ll soften and shrink.

20130127-221332.jpg
Add another pinch of salt, and some black pepper.
Stir in the plumped up Craisins, and serve.

The chard is slightly bitter. The honey and Craisins add subtle sweetness, and counterbalance the bite.

I love this because it has the bite of a bowl of collards, but it didn’t take hours to cook down to develop that sharpness.

20130127-221541.jpg
It’s confetti-like creation is soft in texture, but robust in flavor.

You can add chard to pastas, omelettes, or rice/quinoa salads. In that case, you can boil it in salted water for 2-3 minutes. That’ll get rid of the bitter acidity.

20130127-221614.jpg
A plate rich in flavor is truly the treasure at the rump of this rainbow.


Tip: Use rainbow chard instead of spinach for dips (boil first) or try mixing cooked down rainbow chard with a bit of cream cheese for a filling in a crispy wonton. For the wonton, use wonton wrappers, put a dab of the mix in one corners then fold it over to make a triangle. Seal the edges with a wet finger. Line up on a cookie sheet (coated in cooking spray)’ then spritz the wontons with more cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 8-10 minutes, or until brown and crispy.

Advertisements

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Mary Lu Saylor says:

    Love the idea of incorporating into dips or wontons! I adore the vibrant color. And who knew there was a rainbow variety? Thank you for enlightening me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s