My CSA share arrived last week with a beautiful bunch of Swiss Chard.
If you've never tasted this versatile vegetable, run, don't walk to your nearest market and buy some. When picked young it can be eaten raw in salads. It will remind you of a crunchy, slightly spicy spinach. When picked at its peak it can be lightly sauteed and dressed a number of ways. Sauteed chard is milder than cooked spinach and will pick up the flavor of its cooking medium.
Wilted Swiss Chard with Hot Bacon Dressing: serves 4
8 cups gently torn swiss chard leaves, washed and spun dry.
Hot Bacon Dressing:
8 slices bacon
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup white vinegar
Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch and salt, and slowly pour in water and vinegar, whisking constantly.
In a medium skillet, add the crumbled bacon and pour the vinegar mixture over it. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
While hot spoon over swiss chard to wilt the greens and serve immediately.
A Cook's Notes: this dressing will keep in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days and is excellent over young dandelion greens or spinach. Treat the dandelion or spinach the same way as the swiss chard. The sweet and sour notes of the dressing pair beautifully with pork and chicken. It is also wonderful served over a baked potato.