After yesterday’s raincheck I have cooked a starter and a main course today with what allegedly is a very popular vegetable in Switzerland: Swiss chard. I presume popular in comparison to other countries where it is hardly used at all. Its popularity in Switzerland explains its name, although according to LEO it is also known as chard, chard plant, leaf beet, mangel, seakale beet, silver beet, spinach beet or white beet.
My mum always steamed the Swiss chard as a side dish and I remember them as a very bland and uninteresting vegetable and avoided them. That’s why I bought a big bunch today as I thought I’d give them another chance with these two recipes: Swiss chard and coconut soup, a recipe I printed out ages ago from the German recipe database Chefkoch.de and a recipe from an unidentifiable magazine cutout (could be Now could be Women’s Own) for Swiss chard wraps.
For the soup (for 2 people) you need 300g Swiss chard, 50g diced onions, half a chili also finely diced (remember to remove the seeds first, otherwise the soup will be very hot), 15g butter, 3.5dl vegetable stock and 0.5dl coconut milk. Dice the stalks of the Swiss chard and cut the leaves into bite sized pieces.
Sweat the onion, chili and Swiss chard stalks in the butter. Add the vegetable stock and cook for approx. 10 minutes at medium heat. Add the coconut milk and the Swiss chard leaves and cook for further 10 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and any other spice you like and enjoy your Swiss chard coconut soup.
The second recipe is a Swiss chard wrap filled with couscous and feta. You need 350g Swiss chard, 50g couscous, approx. 3dl vegetable broth, half an onion and half a packet of feta. Cook the couscous according to the instructions on the packet. When it has soaked in the vegetable broth enough, add the diced feta and onion. The recipe adds a handful of sultanas to the couscous. I don’t like sultanas and added finely chopped fresh pineapple instead.
Blanch the Swiss chard leaves in boiling salt water for 2-3 minutes. Remove, rinse with cold water and dry the Swiss chard leaves with kitchen paper or a towel. Wrap portions of the couscous mix in each leaf and put in an ovenproof dish.
Fill the bottom of the dish with a little vegetable broth (I used some of the soup) and bake in the oven for 10 minutes at 180°C.
Both recipes are very tasty and I will definitely buy Swiss chard more often now.