Although expensive to purchase, Swiss chard grows easily and abundantly in backyard gardens. Like the tomato, summer brings more than can be successfully pawned out to neighbors. Make good use of it with these ten summer menu ideas.
1. Use young leaves as a salad filler. After washing, line up leaves and fold in thirds, use scissors to cut into strips. Toss in with salad greens.
2. Wrap leftover casserole or stuffing into leaves. Steam in a bamboo steamer for 20 minutes to heat thoroughly.
3. Switch up your pasta. Substitute scored raw leaves in lasagna recipes in place of lasagna noodles.
4. Make a melty appetizer. Score leaves and wrap around cheese sticks and Italian seasoning tight enough no cheese is showing. If cheese is showing, it will leak out. Place on a cookie sheet or on a barbeque grill and bake for roughly 5 to 8 minutes, until cheese is melted.
5. Freshen up your meal. Chop up washed leaves in a bowl using kitchen shears. Add to spaghetti sauce, noodles, casseroles, hot-dish, rice, beans, chili, and soup right before serving.
6. Have a quick sushi night. Replace nori wraps with carefully dried Swiss chard leaves when making sushi.
7. Mix up your next stir fry. Start with any meat of your choice stir fried with tamari and rice vinegar, then turn off the heat and toss the chard around in the pan until wilted. Serve over rice.
8. Stir up your favorite barbecue sides. Add shredded leaves to pasta or potato salads in place of or in addition to other vegetables.
9. Make a vegetable filled main or side dish. Separate stems from leaves and dice. Stir fry for 10 minutes with diced scallions, garlic, celery, and other crunchy garden fresh vegetables. Toss with the leaves carefully cut into squares or short strips and serve immediately.
10. Snack from your garden. Soak leaves in ice water for up to an hour using apple cider vinegar to sweeten them. Drain and dry fully. Cut into potato chip sized pieces and dip into your favorite chip dips instead of potato or corn chips.
How do you use Swiss chard?