Recipes and facts – Chard

Dark, leafy green vegetables are among the most nutrient-dense foods.

A small serving of cooked chard covers your daily need for vitamins A and K and nearly fulfils the RDI for vitamin C.

What’s more, chard is a good source of calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, sodium, phosphorus and vitamin E.

This green is not only loaded with nutrients but also extremely low in calories.

Recipes

Polenta and chard chips with a rich tomato sauce

Chard, roast cherry tomatoes and ricotta bake

Polenta and chard chips with a rich tomato sauce – Zita Steyn’s recipe on the Delicious Magazine website

  • 200g swiss or rainbow chard, or dark leafy greens
  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 280g medium or coarse polenta (we used quick-cook)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Rapeseed oil for brushing

For the tomato sauce

  • 1kg vine tomatoes, halved
  • 2 large red onions, finely chopped
  • Olive oil for roasting
  • 2 tbsp aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 whole garlic bulb, skin on, cut in half horizontally
  • Pinch cayenne pepper or clear honey to taste (optional)

Cut the stalks off the chard leaves, chop them into small pieces and set aside. Chop the leaves into bite-size pieces and set aside separately.

In a large, deep saucepan, melt the butter, then fry the onion with a pinch of salt over a medium heat. Add the chard stalks and cook for 5-10 minutes until tender, then add the leaves and sauté for 1 minute.

Bring 1.4 litres water to the boil in a large saucepan, then stir in the polenta. Whisk with a balloon whisk until thickened, then stir in the salt and some pepper. Cover and cook over a low heat for 10-20 minutes until the polenta thickens and begins to come away from the side of the pan as you stir. Transfer to an ovenproof dish and smooth with the back of a spoon. Leave to cool, then chill for a few hours to set – it needs to be completely cold before cutting.

To make the tomato sauce, heat the oen to 150°C/130°C fan/gas 2. Toss the tomatoes and onions in the olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then season with salt and pepper and arrange in a baking tray, cut-side up. Roast for 2-2½ hours.

Rub some oil on the cut sides of the garlic halves, then wrap in foil and roast for 1 hour or until soft.

Scrape the tomatoes and onions into a blender, squeeze out the soft garlic from the skin and blend until smooth. Taste and season; add cayenne pepper if you want spice, honey if you want sweetness.

Turn the oven up to 200°C/180°C fan/gas 6. Cut the polenta into chips about 1.5cm thick and 8cm long. Put on a baking sheet and brush all over with rapeseed oil. Roast for 1 hour or until golden, carefully turning after 30 minutes. Warm the sauce to serve with the chips.

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Chard, roast cherry tomato and ricotta bake – Olive Magazine website

  • cherry tomatoes 150g
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • butter
  • chard 200g, shredded
  • nutmeg a good grating
  • ricotta 125g
  • eggs 3
  • parmesan 50g, grated

Heat the oven to 220c/fan 200c/gas 7.

Toss the tomatoes with a little olive oil, season and roast for 10 minutes. Take out but leave the oven on.

In the meantime, melt a knob of butter in a large frying pan then fry the chard for 5 minutes or until wilted and tender. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Press against the pan with a wooden spoon to squeeze out excess juices and pour them away.

Beat the ricotta with the eggs and most of the parmesan. Season, then stir in the chard.

Pour into a buttered baking dish about 20cm square, spoon on the tomatoes and sprinkle on the rest of the cheese.

Bake for 10-15 minutes until just set in the middle. Grill for 2 minutes until golden if you want more colour. Serve with a crisp green salad.

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