Making my way slowly through the pile of greens that arrive every week, and hacking through the forest of greens leafing the backyard gardens. Chard was something I previously believed to be a verb. A very embarrassing verb. Turns out I was wrong. And astoundingly, it comes in rainbow colors! Chard is like the funfetti of leafy greens.
Creamed Swiss Chard with Lemony Breadcrumbs
Thanks to Bon Appetit
½ cup torn fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 large bunches Swiss chard, ribs and stems cut into 2” lengths, leaves torn into 2” pieces (I used rainbow chard, because I’m friendly)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium shallots, sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
¾ cup heavy cream
You are allowed to make one “shart” joke, or maybe tell a quick anecdote about a time when you, I mean someone you know, had a small, unintended defecation when they expected flatus. But this is chard. Okay, got all the giggles out? Great.
Preheat oven to 400°. Toss breadcrumbs, oil, and lemon zest on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Toast, tossing once, until golden brown, 4-6 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook chard leaves in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 1 minute. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and squeeze well in a clean kitchen towel to remove excess moisture.
Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and chard ribs and stems, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until tender, 5–8 minutes. Marvel at the rainbow of plant pieces that may not have seemed edible until now.
Add cream; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add chard leaves and cook, stirring, until warmed through and coated with cream sauce; season with salt and pepper.
Marvelous. This will feed about two people, and I guess the moral of this story is: conquer your fear of vegetables by coating them in shallot butter and heavy cream. Basically, this is a green pile of what ice cream would be if it were allowed to be hot. It’s like eating the dream of Olaf.