Today we have our second pick up at Uncle Bill’s Farm CSA where we will choose from among the lovely produce picked fresh this morning. New Jersey spring season means lots of greens overflowing in our bushel baskets. One of the most beautiful of them all is rainbow chard. It’s considered one of the healthiest veggies around, with high amounts of vitamins A, K and C. Rainbow chard is also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein.
I grew rainbow chard in my raised bed gardens last year and that is when I fell in love with the beauty of this healthful leafy green. We harvested some of it when my mother-in-law was visiting and together she and I enjoyed the beauty of the deep greens of the leaves and strikingly bright and varied colors of the stems.
In order to make use of the produce while it is still fresh we need a few different quick and easy recipes that combine some of the ingredients. After seeing the absolutely perfect rainbow chard last week at the farm, I determined to create a dish that makes use not only of the chard but of the wild garlic that was also available. The addition of the shiitake mushrooms makes this a heartier side dish that could pass as a main dish for you vegans and vegetarians.
Rainbow Chard with Shiitake Mushrooms and Wild Garlic
- One bunch Rainbow Chard
- 5 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon oil (olive oil, lard or similar)
- 5 heads of wild garlic or two cloves of standard garlic, finely minced
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Wash the chard thoroughly. Cut out the thick part of the stem and chop it into 1/2 inch pieces. (This step is important so the stems cook longer than the greens)
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat in a large, wide skillet or wok. Add the mushrooms and chard stems, if using, and cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms sear and begin to soften, about 3 minutes.
- Add the garlic, thyme and a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the chard and raise the heat to high. Cook, stirring, until the chard wilts, about 3 minutes (you may have to add the chard in batches, depending on the size of your pan).
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Once the chard has wilted, add 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer over low heat for 3 minutes, or until the chard is tender. Uncover, stir, taste and adjust seasoning.
Makes 4 side dish servings
I hope you enjoy the rainbow chard. It really does make for one of the most beautiful side dishes around.
You can find several other paleo side dish recipes here.
Leave me a note if you have other suggestions for preparing rainbow chard. We are always looking for new and exciting dishes to prepare with this beautiful produce.
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