Linda Marrone: Swiss chard the way mom used to make it (recipe)
Normally the last week of April I would be writing about the opening of the Spring Farmers Market in the parking lot behind Due Sorella but this year has been anything but! There will be no early spring Farmers Market in May.
You will be hearing more about the regular Carson Farmers Market at a later date but to keep up with what’s going on go to the website: carsonfarmersmarket or like them on Facebook.
Cooking in these times of “Shelter in Place” has had rewards and challenges. For me, a few things have changed, going to the grocery store only once a week for minor items and once every two weeks for my bigger shopping list. I have always cooked dinner most every night and enjoy cooking and baking. It’s one of the things I’m known for. I have to confess I haven’t been making any new recipes but have stuck with my tried and true only because it’s been harder for me to concentrate right now.
Whatever I can whip up without too much thought has been working. I’m lucky, because Ralph cooks too and we share the duties somewhat, if I don’t feel up to it, he will cook. My motto of cook once and eat two or three times has really been paying off. For example we cooked a tri-tip had it for dinner with a baked potato and some Swiss chard. Down the road, we had another dinner with it thinly sliced for French dips.
After that Ralph took the rest and made taco meat and we had tacos two nights in a row, plus I had enough for him to have a sandwich, too. I will confess we have a commercial slicer so we can get a lot of meat from one piece of beef.
Every year during the month of January we usually try and use up everything we have in the freezer before summer comes and we start adding to it. This year it has become a necessity, use it or lose it. It has been wonderful being able to go to the freezer and just grab something to cook. I pretty much plan our meals for the week and start with a peruse of the freezer. Getting fresh eggs and flowers delivered each week has been another treat I look forward too. We’ve had tuna melts and cold turkey sands for dinner with a cup of homemade soup and a lot of breakfasts for dinner as well, more than usual.
One of the pluses in all of this has been the kindness, concern and sharing from others. There are no longer porch pirates but porch angels. Those who drop off whatever you might need on your porch from a trip to the store or something from their pantry. I always try and repay these acts of kindness with one of my own, be it soup, or most often a bag of biscotti. I have been making a batch each week and by the end of the week it seems they are all gone. I like to leave one for my mailman, friends, neighbors or anyone who just needs a little pick me up. There is usually an extra bag on the porch yours for the taking. I’m going to leave you with this quote,
“Only when normal things are not normal anymore do we realize how special normal things are.” Unknown
The recipe I’m going to share with you this week if worth trying especially if you have not had Swiss chard steamed and fixed this way. One bunch of Swiss chard feeds two so buy two bunches if you are fixing for more than two in your family. Swiss chard is bulky but like spinach its content is mostly water and when you steam it, cooks down to not very much. This was the way my Mom prepared it and we always had fresh picked chard from the garden. In June, if you buy it from the FM (buy two) they are smaller bunches than what’s available in the stores right now.
Mama’s Swiss Chard
Wash thoroughly, you can use the tougher ends toward the bottom but I cut mine off and cut the rest of the chard up into 2-inch strips starting at the top of the bunch.
You can put it in your steamer but I just put mine in a fry pan with water, cover with a lid and cook until tender about 5-10 minutes, drain the water and put it in a bowl.
I add a splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar, salt and pepper, a hard-boiled egg chopped up and you can even add bacon bits. It’s a delicious and different veggie choice for spring.