Three Great Recipes, One Simple Green
By Mark Mulcahy
I love kale, I love collards but my go to green most of the time is Melissa’s organic rainbow chard! Last week I bought 2 bunches and made three great recipes - an appetizer, a hearty lunch and a tasty dinner. The recipes were fun and easy to make and received rave reviews from everyone who tried them. On Thursday I cut off the stems from the leaves and made a delicious appetizer of Spicy Pickled Chard Stems. I let them sit in the frig for 3 days and served them to start my meal on Sunday.
Then Sunday morning I dove into using the leaves and made a fantastic pesto that yielded a beautiful creamy sauce that was the perfect topping for my Sunday evening pasta dinner. Once the pesto was in the refrigerator letting the flavors meld, I used the remaining leaves to make Chard pockets for lunch. These were so good, so refreshing and really darn healthy. Consider this, just the Chard alone has more Fiber, Protein, Calcium and Iron than Kale and is a great source of Vitamins K, A, C & E, Magnesium, Manganese, Potassium. Lastly if you are one who likes a craft cocktail now and then try a little vodka with the brine from the pickles. Oh, my goodness that’s worth making the recipe just for the drink.
March is a perfect month to try new things and enjoy the simple goodness of Chard.
I can Chardly wait to try another round of recipes.
Spicy Pickled Chard Stems Recipe
Adapted from Mother Earth Living
Makes two 8-ounce jars or one 16-ounce jar
Cleaned stems from one large bunch of rainbow chard stems, cut to fit into mason jar, about 3/4 inch from the lip
1/2 cup organic rice wine vinegar
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons salt
1-1/2 tablespoons Melissa’s new Costa Azul sir-a-cha style hot sauce
1/4 teaspoon celery seed, divided
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, divided
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds, divided
2 cloves organic garlic, divided
Add each half of the celery seed, peppercorns, mustard seeds, and garlic to each jar. (If just making one jar, this can all go together.) Pack chard stems tightly into jars. Bring vinegars, sugar, salt, and hot sauce to a boil, in a small saucepan until sugar and salt is dissolved. Then pour over chard stems. Let sit until cool, then put lids on and refrigerate. Wait two days before eating for flavors fully develop. Will last 1 month in refrigerator.
Yields 1 cup
1 1/2 cup tightly packed Melissa’s organic chard leaves
1/2 cup tightly packed fresh basil
1/2 cup olive oil (plus 1-2 tablespoons more if chilling/freezing)
Juice of 1 medium sized Melissa’s organic lemon
1/3 cup organic walnuts
1/3 cup Parmesan (optional)
Salt and pepper, to taste
Thoroughly rinse the chard and basil. Roll both tightly into the measuring cup, then place in a food processor or blender.
Add the olive oil, walnuts, lemon juice, parmesan, salt and pepper. Blend until well combined and smooth.
Place on burgers, pasta, spread on bread, or otherwise use to your heart’s content!
If refrigerating or freezing, pour the pesto into a container and top with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil (just enough to coat the top of the jar).
Yields 6 pockets
6 Melissa’s organic chard leaves
1 Melissa’s organic cucumber, sliced into small wedges
1 cup mung bean sprouts
1 Melissa’s organic carrot, shaved
1 cup sno peas (or snap peas if snos are unavailable)
1 ripe Melissa’s organic avocado
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon agave (I used honey as agave is too sweet for my tastes)
1 teaspoon dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
Stack the cucumber, mung beans, shaved carrots, and snow peas on the chard leaf. Add a dollop of avocado dressing and fold over.
To make the avocado dressing, using a bullet type blender and puree one avocado, water, agave, dill, and salt until very smooth. This will take a few minutes.