What’s a guy to do when his garden runneth over with beautiful rainbow chard, and his kids are quite determined to never eat another leaf of the stuff as long as they live?
I wish I could tell you that I didn’t just toss some melted cheese on my beautiful bounty, but the fact is, that’s pretty much the story. I know…I know, it sounds like a cowards way out, please don’t hate me.
In my defense, I didn’t just microwave a jar of Velveeta to tame the beasts, but instead crafted a rather tasty sauce with a rich and creamy chèvre goat cheese. The sauce was a concession to the kids that take issue with the taste of chard (or any dark, leafy green for that matter). For the others, who’s main objection is the “slimy” texture of cooked greens, I sprinkled a little of what has become one of my favorite condiment’s, “Crumbs Yo!”, over the top once it had cooked to add a nice (disguising) crunch to the dish.
I have to say that my wife and I thought it was delicious, so much so, that we made it again a few nights later for company (I wasn’t kidding with the runneth over reference), where it garnered another round of rave reviews. As for the kids, while not a one was strapping on pom-poms to lead a cheer to my genius, they ALL ate what was served them, and conceded that it wasn’t nearly as bad as what they expected.
I grant you, not exactly a Michelin Star moment for yours truly, but I’ve learned to savor the small victories on this journey.
I encourage you to do the same.
Cheers – Steve
- 2 pounds Rainbow Chard (or any other kind of chard)
- 20 large fresh basil leaves, cut into ribbons
- 1 garlic clove, finely minced
- 1 cup chicken stock, reduced to 1/2 cup
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ cup milk (plus a little more to thin your cheese sauce if desired)
- ½ pound crumbled chèvre cheese (or other easy melting cheese to suit your taste)
- ½ cup Crumbs Yo!* (see how to make them here)
- Place stock in a large saute pan with minced garlic, and reduce by half. Cut stalks from washed chard into 1-inch pieces and add to the stock over medium heat. Cook uncovered for about 5 minutes. Roughly chop chard leaves, and add to the chopped stalks, cook uncovered for another 4-5 minutes, until the leaves are fully wilted, but the stalk pieces remain slightly crunchy. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and drain into a colander, pressing out excess liquid. Place in a casserole dish large enough to hold the chard in a thin layer, no more than an inch thick. Top chard with ribbons of basil and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven broiler.
- Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and salt and whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes. Add milk and cook over low heat, stirring constantly until thick. Add cheese and continue stirring until cheese is melted (add more milk until the sauce is a consistency you like). Spoon cheese mixture over chard. Place under the broiler and cook until the cheese mix starts to bubble and take on a little color.
- Remove the casserole from the oven, sprinkle with the Crumbs Yo! and serve immediately.