Swiss Chard. I don’t know what’s Swiss about it (according to Wikipedia, it was called “Swiss” to distinguish it from French spinach back in the way; whatev), but I do know that since I started getting bunches of it from my Harvest Moon CSA, I’ve become utterly obsessed with it! And thanks to the recipes from Chef Bradley Borchardt that Harvest Moon sends out via email to its members,, I had some very helpful direction on how to turn these huge, leafy bunches with gorgeous, bright red stems into a delectable meal. Check out my dinner!
Yum, right? This, my friends, would be sautéed chard with yellow split peas and my beloved poached egg on top I’m like some eat-eating freak on a hamster wheel, trying to keep up with the half-dozen fresh farm eggs I get each week from Harvest Moon). It’s DELICIOUS! You’ve got the fresh, bitter bite of the chard, accented with the salty tang of capers, with the hearty richness of yellow split peas and a party of green herbs and then the creamy delight of a poached egg on top for a light, yet hearty bowlful of SUMMER DELISH!
And get this: it’s healthy, too! Get out – good, fresh and healthy, all together? Stand back! I adapted this recipe from Chef Borchardt (mostly because I didn’t have the exact ingredients he calls for) but he definitely gets the credit for the whole shootin’ match. Here’s what you do:
1 bunch of chard
1/8 C. Extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 C red onion, minced
1 Tbl capers, drained
4 Tbl minced fresh herbs – I used mint, basil, rosemary and thyme
1/4 white wine vinegar
1 Tbl sriracha sauce (the spicy red Asian chili sauce), or your favorite hot sauce
3/4 C. dried yellow split peas (you could use green, but I had yellow and they look pretty!)
What You Do
1) Put the split peas into a saucepan with 5 cups of salted water and bring to a simmer; cook for 30 minutes with the lid half-on; taste at 20 minutes to check for texture. When they’re tender but still firm, drain into a mesh sieve and set aside.
2) Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a cast iron skillet, and add the garlic and red onion; saute for 5-10 minutes until soft
2) Slice the chard into strips and add to the pan. Cook until wilted – about 10 minutes or so. It will look like you’re piling a veritable Swiss Alp of chard into the pan, but it will cook down (like spinach does).
3) Chop your herbs. I used what I grow on my deck (thyme, basil, mint, rosemary), but you could also use cilantro, parsley or tarragon, too.
4) Add the vinegar, capers, herbs and cooked lentils to the wilted chart.
4) Poach an egg – or multiple eggs, depending on how many you’re feeding.
EASY POACHED EGGS: Bring a pan with three inches of water to a simmer – like very lively club soda (not vigorously boiling, or you’ll be screwed), and crack an egg into a ramekin or small dish. Slip the egg into the simmering water and let it be for 2 minutes, 15 seconds (for a large egg). Remove the poached egg with a slotted spoon and let it drain for a minute on a paper towel. Plop that poached egg on top of your bowl of Chard and split peas, add a shower of freshly ground pepper and some sea salt and crack that yolk! The gorgeous, golden yolk is like creamy gravy (and adds an extra dose of low-cal protein to the whole thing).
5) Eat and enjoy! You’re eating healthy, high-anti-oxidant greens, protein-packed, low-fat legumes and a healthy poached egg and loving it. The Lazy Cook would definitely appreciate the nutritional aspects of this, but she would never do all this cooking! (And frankly, the whole thing takes about 30 or 40 minutes, start to finish, so shut up.)
Long live Swiss Chard, long live summer and happy, crazy-good eating to you!