Friday, November 14, 2008

Colorful fall greens

With just a bit of coddling, beautiful greens still linger in my southern New Hampshire garden.

Chinese cabbage and baby beets

Kale and escarole under row cover

Swiss chard and arugula

Bright Light Swiss chard is as tasty as it is beautiful. In the garden it grows easily and abundantly, and need only to be picked to keep it producing. I harvest it by the armloads from early summer to late fall. Both leaves and stems are edible but I prefer only the leaves and the stems get composted.

Here are two never fail Swiss chard recipes.

Sautéed Swiss Chard with Garlic and Oyster Sauce
3 lbs Swiss chard, leaves coarsely shredded, stems discarded
3 Tbs olive oil
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil and garlic in a large heavy pot over medium heat, add salt and pepper. When garlic turns slightly golden add chard leaves in batches, stirring until wilted before adding next batch and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl, toss with oyster sauce and serve. Makes 8 servings.

This chard ball recipe is adapted from an old spinach ball recipe. Whether you make them with spinach or Swiss chard the accolades will be the same, and will leave your guests begging for more.

Chard Balls with Hot and Sweet Mustard
4 cups cooked Swiss chard, squeezed dry, or 2 10 oz packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry.
2 cups herb stuffing mix, crushed
1 cup grated parmesan cheese (5 oz wedge)
½ cup (1 stick) butter, melted
5 scallions, finely chopped
3 eggs
Dash of freshly grated nutmeg

Combine all ingredients and mix well. Shape into 1 inch balls. Cover and refrigerate or freeze until ready to bake.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Set balls on ungreased baking sheet and bake until golden brown about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve with Hot and Sweet Mustard.
Makes about 50 balls

Hot and Sweet Mustard
½ cup Coleman dry mustard
½ cup white vinegar
¼ cup sugar
1 egg yolk

Combine mustard and vinegar, cover and let stand at room temperature 4 hours.
Mix sugar and egg yolk in small sauce pan. Add mustard and vinegar mixture and cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened. Cover and chill. Serve at room temperature.

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