I might be a really bad gardener, you guys.
This is my first year planting a garden, and I feel like so far, there may have been more misses than hits. My spinach died of something I think was a fungus but may have been water blisters; my tomato plants are puny and have yet to produce anything; half of my herbs have died. And this afternoon, I walked out to my cold frame to excitedly survey my kale, only to find that caterpillars have begun munching away at the leaves. Ugh.
The only thing that has survived, nay thrived, so far has been my rainbow chard. It somehow escaped whatever killed the spinach and is soaring high, bright happy stems aloft. It’s survived my erratic watering schedule (oops) and has missed the Great Caterpillar Invasion of ’14. This chard is my shining star.
This recipe showing it off is inspired in flavor by this collard greens recipe from Edible Perspective and in technique by this swiss chard recipe from Nom Nom Paleo. Honestly, I didn’t even look at the recipes before I made this…just kind of looked at the pictures and remembered making that one thing from Nom Nom Paleo that one time.
I desperately needed to use up some goat cheese, but it’s really not necessary to the recipe. Omit it for a Paleo version, or put some sieved eggs on top…for vegan, skip the bacon, use 1 Tbsp olive oil instead, and skip the cheese. Still delish, as the acid, fat and salt all come together to show off the freshness of these greens. Yum!
- 1 bunch chard
- 2-3 slices of bacon, cut into thin little 1/4 inch pieces
- zest of one lemon
- juice of one lemon (roughly 2 Tbsp)
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 ounces goat cheese
- Prep your kale by de-stemming them, chopping the stems, rolling the leaves and cutting them into ribbons. Set aside stems and leaf ribbons in two separate bowls.
- Place your bacon in a large pan (cast-iron, if you have it) and begin frying over medium heat. When the bacon is almost done, and you have some grease in the pan, toss in garlic and stir for about 30 seconds.
- Add chard stems and cook until tender, about five minutes. Add chard leaves and lemon juice, stirring until the leaves are a brilliant green and slightly wilted.
- Remove from heat, and put on plates. Salt and pepper to taste, then top with goat cheese, lemon zest, and a little more pepper. Wait about 30 seconds for the goat cheese to melt and then yeah, buddy — serve immediately.