Ed, a CSA member, introduced me to the idea of creamy Swiss chard. I decided to try to find an easy recipe in that vein. I remembered another CSA member, Dinah, telling me about her roux (a.k.a. white sauce) last year and thought it would be a good resource to share. When I asked, Dinah kindly sent me her recipe and I have included it below in italics.
A quick search online helped me to combine Dinah’s roux with Swiss chard to make creamy Swiss chard. Not a new idea by any means but a good one!
Creamy Swiss Chard
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3 large green onions finely chopped (use only the bottom 4 to 6" annd save the tops for something else)
- 1/4 cup of flour
- 1 cup of milk
- Pinch nutmeg
- 1 large bag Swiss chard leaves roughly chopped, stems removed if you wish
- Parmesan cheddar, feta or other flavourful cheese to taste
- Salt and pepper
Cover the bottom of a frying pan with water and place the swiss chard on top. Turn on burner to high and let the Swiss chard steam for a couple of minutes until tender. Turn off the heat and cover the pan with a lid.
Prepare Dinah's roux as follows (in her own words): "When I make a white sauce (roux), I generally start with 1/4 cup of salted butter, 1/4 cup of flour, a pinch of salt and pepper, and 1 cup of milk. I melt the butter on low in a pot, add the flower and quickly whisk it. When it is basically a paste, I stir in the milk*, whisking constantly while bringing to a boil on medium-high.** I hold it at a boil till it starts to visibly thicken. Then I turn off the heat, add the salt and pepper, stir more. This is a good time to to add other things like shredded cheese if you're making mac and cheese, or some herbs to toss with pasta.
*folks can choose to use unsalted butter if they prefer less salt. I prefer it a bit saltier myself.
**don't stop whisking. It's a pretty fast boil, and the roux will scald. Burned roux is not good roux."
Last step: add the chard to the roux with a slotted spoon to avoid adding excess water. Fold in the chard until it is coated with the thickened milk mixture. Serve immediately with a garnish of your favourite cheese.
This recipe takes less than 10 minutes to make and can be served as a side or as a sauce over pasta. I also added a dash of nutmeg to mine with the salt and pepper.