INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: SWISS CHARD

By Wini Moranville

 

If the seasonal close of farmers markets has you forlorn about the lack of terrific greens, give Swiss chard a go. Of course, like any green, it’s best when locally grown; however, I have found that it’s one of the more flavorful trucked-in greens you can buy outside our growing season.

Its dark green leaves and ruby red veins give a hint of its flavor, which I liken to a cross between spinach and beets. I enjoy sautéing it as I would spinach for a sparkling side dish. Also give it a try in this salad, which features another seasonal favorite: apples.

Chicken, Blue Cheese and Swiss Chard Salad with Pistachios
Serve this with a cup of potato soup for a fresh and hearty winter lunch.

1 pound fully cooked roasted chicken, shredded into bite-size pieces
4 ounces Swiss chard leaves, coarsely shredded
1 large sweet-tart red apple, such as a Honeycrisp, Braeburn
or SweeTango,* cored and sliced
1/4 cup crumbled blue cheese, such as Point Reyes or Roquefort
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped pistachio nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Combine the chicken, Swiss chard, apple, blue cheese and pistachio nuts in a large bowl. Whisk together the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and salt and pepper in a small bowl.

2. Add the vinaigrette and toss again to combine. Divide the salad among four shallow bowls and serve. Makes four main-dish servings.

* Read about my discovery of SweeTango apples in this recent dsmWeekly article.

Look for Swiss chard at Whole Foods Market (4100 University Ave., West Des Moines; 515-343-2600) and The Fresh Market (5901 Mills Civic Parkway, West Des Moines; 515-225-4754).

Wini Moranville is a freelance writer who covers the food and dining scene for dsm. Follow her at All Things Food – DSM Wini Moranville.

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