Kale and Swiss Chard have become popular, even trendy cool season leafy greens. Blue Curled Scotch Kale and Rainbow Chard were our biggest heirloom seedling sellers at the Atherton Market this fall, and I always see fresh bunches both peering out of shopping bags leaving the market. Their popularity is well deserved as these greens are loaded with nutrients and health benefits that can fill up pages in a medical journal.
But have you burned out your favorite kale and chard recipes like an overplayed song? Try these fresh takes on preparing two of today’s hottest super foods.
SIMPLE SWISS CHARD
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, stalks discarded, leaves cut into wide ribbons
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil on a large skillet over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and cook until tender and aromatic, about 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and balsamic vinegar; cook and stir until the chard is wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Yield: two servings
SWISS CHARD WITH ANCHOVY BUTTER
- 18 black peppercorns, cracked
- 3 anchovy fillets, diced
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 pounds red or green chard (see Note)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
- no salt (plenty in anchovies)
Using a mortar and pestle, mix peppercorns, anchovy fillets, and butter. Form butter mixture into a log, wrap in parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
Rinse and dry chard leaves. Trim off ribs.
Heat a large frying pan or sauté pan over medium heat. Drop in 1 or 2 tablespoons of the anchovy butter and the chard. Sauté for approximately 1 or 2 minutes, stirring often. Add vinegar and mix well.
Note: This dish works well with either red or green chard, whatever is the best looking and freshest at the market on your shopping day. This dish goes well with a steak au Poivre or any entrée.
Yield: 8 to 10 servings.
CRISPY KALE CHIPS WITH CHILE AND LIME
- 20 cups kale, torn into bite-size pieces, washed and thoroughly dried
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- Finely grated zest of 2 limes
- Flaky sea salt, or to taste
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Make sure the kale is dry; if it is not, it will steam rather than crisp in the oven.
In a large bowl, toss kale pieces with olive oil and kosher salt; you may need to do this in 2 batches. Massage the oil onto each kale piece until the oil is evenly distributed and the kale glistens. Spread the kale out on 2 17-by-12-inch jellyroll pans (or do this in batches). Bake the kale chips until the leaves look crisp and crumble, about 12 minutes. If they are not ready, bake for another 2 to 4 minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature. Toss with the lime zest, sea salt and Chile powder to taste.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings.