at the Water's Edge


Living life and learning all I can along the way!

Cooking with Swiss Chard

fresh picked swiss chard from the garden
I decided to grow Swiss chard in my garden this year.  I'm not exactly sure why, but I think this is what happened: I went to the farmer's market sometime last summer and was lured in by the bright stalks of the multi-colored Swiss chard one of the vendors was selling.  It was so pretty that I just had to buy a bunch of it.  I think I ended up roasting that with some root vegetables, but I don't remember for sure how I prepared it.  I may have had chard one other time.  But the bright colors stuck with me, and I know it's supposed to be a very healthy green, so I decided to grow some.  In the past few weeks it's grown to the point where I could begin to pick it.  Only, I didn't know what to do with it once I did pick it.  The whole roasted root vegetable thing is more of an autumn dish, and definitely not ideal for this heat wave we've been having.  So, I looked up a couple of recipes, and here's what I ended up doing with my first couple pickings of chard.

Swiss Chard Dumplings & Ravioli

swiss chard and ricotta filled dumplingsI found this recipe from Eating Well for Chard Dumplings in Chive Broth, and thought it sounded interesting. I'd never made dumplings before.  I'm not sure I'd actually eaten dumplings before.  But chard was new, too, so why not try dumplings.  The recipe called for a mix of Swiss chard, onion, garlic, ricotta cheese, etc. and sounded pretty tasty. Somewhere I got the idea (can't for the life of me remember where) that this might also make a good filling for ravioli -- and discovered that I could use won ton wrappers to make both.  So, I made both -- with slightly different filling.  You can read the full Eating Well recipe for detailed instructions and the original recipe, but I didn't have all of the ingredients on hand, so I modified the filling to include the following:


chopped swiss chard leaves and stems
Not quite three cups of leaves

DUMPLINGS

  • 1 bunch chard leaves and stems separated -- enough to fill three cups chopped (I just guessed on the amount I picked!)
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/3 cup chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • Wonton wrappers

sauteing swiss chard stems with onion and garlicI did not use the meat called for in the recipe, so it could be made vegetarian if you use vegetable broth for both the filling and the soup base.  I basically sauteed the chard with the oil, onion garlic, lemon juice red pepper, chicken broth and salt.  Then stirred in the cheese to make the filling.

using wonton wrappers to make dumplingsThese were rather tedious to make.  You have to cut the wonton wrappers in half and do lots of folding and sealing to make them into the little dumplings.  And you can only fit about 1/2 of a teaspoon of filling in each one!  It really took forever.  I ended up using about half of the wonton wrappers for the dumplings and maybe 2/3 of the filling before I switched gears.  I ended up adding I think 3/4 of a cup of ricotta cheese and about the same amount of shredded Italian cheese blend to the remaining filling mix.

chard and ricotta filled ravioli made with wonton wrappersLet me tell you -- after making those dumplings with such painstakingly slow progress, the ravioli was a joy to make!  I used two whole wonton wrappers for each -- just plopped a big tablespoon of filling in the middle of one wrapper, then placed another one on top.  I then wet the edges of the bottom one with a little water and used a fork to press the edges together and seal it.  It went so much faster to make these, and it's a good thing, too, because I was about ready to be out of the kitchen by that point (that was after a couple hours of standing in the kitchen after doing an event for work on my feet all day).

making homemade ravioli
Making the ravioli!
chard dumplings in chive broth
Chard Dumplings in Chive Broth
We had some of the dumplings in some of the chicken and chive broth for dinner that night.  It was pretty good, and similar to the tortellini soup that I make (though much more effort...).  I froze the dumplings I didn't use so they'll be handy for making a quick easy soup dinner another night.  I haven't actually tried the ravioli yet (I just froze that, too), but I'm kind of excited to!  I hope it tastes good...

Asian Stir-Fry

Asian chicken stir fry with swiss chard, snow peas, chili garlic sauceMy next big adventure in cooking with Swiss chard was just a couple of days later.  I should pause and say that I did also use some in a sort of pasta primavera--cooked pasta tossed with a mix of vegetables in an olive oil sauce.  But my big leap of "I don't know what to do with Swiss chard so I might as well try something completely new" came with this recipe for Asian Stir-Fried Swiss Chard from Kalyn's Kitchen.  I've attempted Asian cuisine a few times with limited success.  A few things have turned out okay; a few things have not been great.  But this sounded interesting. And good.  It called for a few different types of sauces that I didn't have on hand, but Chili-Garlic sauce sure sounded good(!) so I went grocery shopping.  Now, the recipe is just for Swiss Chard.  However, I didn't think that Tom take too kindly to the idea of me placing a giant bowl of stir fried greens in front of him, so I altered the recipe into a chicken stir-fry with swiss chard as one of the main vegetables.  I also used some peas from the garden and some onion.  The result?  Delicious!  The flavors of all of the ingredients that go into the sauce blend well and make a really tasty dish.  Even if it were just Swiss chard, I'm sure it would be tasty.  It wasn't spicy, though -- so next time I will probably use more of the chili-garlic sauce and/or add in some red pepper.  Yum yum!

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ABOUTME

Hi there! My name is Dana and I live in West Michigan with my husband, Tom and our dog Happy Gilmore. I created this space as a place to share the things I learn along this journey I call life. I work in marketing and I'm a sort of Jane of All Trades, interested in all things nature, gardening, cooking, exploring and learning new things. This blog is a conglomeration of my interests, hobbies, life and life lessons. Thanks for stopping by!

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