Saturday, June 4, 2016

I Love Chard

Surprise, surprise, right? Not only do I love chard for cooking and eating but also for growing. It is the only green to reliably survive our hot summers, it is not from the cruciferous family so no pesky cabbage worms, it can make it through most winters under a row cover, and it is so pretty! What's not to like? 

Don't get me wrong: gardening is work. I took a few years off from much gardening and let local farmers do most of the work. There's soil prep, planting, weeding, feeding, and this spring the watering was threatening to do me in. 

Look at those weeds! And I garden intensively so I will be doing all of it by hand, if not by tweezer. 

But off of only about a half dozen of my plants I got this much chard: 

Thursday night I needed a quick and easy meal again (birthday party the next day!) and opted for what I consider an all-in-one: Potato-Kale (Chard) Hashbrowns. It has eggs, potatoes, and chard - that covers all the food groups, right? I still think in food groups, no pyramid, steps, or plate for me. 

As long as you understand the differences among the various greens they can be used interchangeably in recipes, sometimes with little tweaks. I find most kale recipes do not call for cooking the kale enough and lend themselves well to chard instead. 

I used frozen hashbrowns to keep it quick and easy. Chop an onion (shallots are even better), slice some of the chard into ribbons, and mix with all the other ingredients except the oil. 

I love orange yolk eggs.

Cook in a skillet or griddle (or both as I did to speed up the process) in a little of your choice of fat. I thought these were good with both palm oil and butter. 

The griddle was our first wedding present. Grandma's ice cream scoop measured the right amount per cake.  

I ate a little chicken and leftovers with mine. The kids scrounged for leftovers to go with theirs. A protein side would be nice for those that need it, or a veggie side. 

Potato Kale Hashbrowns (adapted from a recipe by Rosemary Mark)

16 oz frozen shredded potatoes
1 - 2 cups kale (chard, spinach) leaves cut in thin strips 
4 - 5 eggs (depending on size)
1/4 cup or more finely chopped onion (shallots, leeks, etc.)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste (taste it!)
Freshly ground black pepper
Fat for cooking (olive or palm oil, butter, whatever you like)

1. Combine all ingredients except oil(s) in a bowl. (The original author says you can cover and refrigerate up to 12 hours before cooking, perhaps for breakfast)

2. Heat a little oil in your skillet or griddle - I used a medium heat, enough to cook quickly and brown well, but not too quickly. Stir whenever the mixture separates. Scoop about 1/4 cup and mound onto your pan, then flatten to make a cake. Cook until brown on one side, flip and cook until brown on the other (to your taste). Repeat with the remaining potato/kale mix. This served five people with few sides, there would probably have been leftovers had I provided more sides. 

No comments:

Post a Comment