Hello and welcome back to Kelly’s Kitchen! It’s wonderful you’re here. A couple weeks ago I talked about our CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box from Collective Harvest, our local Athens CSA. Well, today I wanted to highlight a couple of the amazing things we got this week: rainbow chard and a variety of beautiful mushrooms (Oyster, Lion’s Mane and Combstooth).
But first, you might recall last Saturday my husband, Alex and my Mom had a long-distance brisket smoke-off…well, the winner was my Mom’s brisket! Even though we were not there to taste the result of her labors, the photo she sent said it all. Just look at that pink smoke ring!
Alex’s brisket was delicious in its own right, however it stalled at a low temperature for too long and ended up getting more done than he would have liked. But he’s a trooper and is already planning his next brisket, while I have plans for his “overdone” leftovers!
It was really fun to chat and text with my mom throughout the day about the progress of the cook and next steps in the smoking process. If you were to do something like a brisket for Mother’s Day, this creamed chard would be a perfect accompaniment.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 400 degrees for toasting your breadcrumbs. The lemony breadcrumbs are a delicious component in this recipe, both in flavor and texture. But if you don’t have any bread to use, you could leave them out. I am using a few pieces of stale rye bread; you know the end pieces that always get left for last, they make perfect bread crumbs or croutons. When you make croutons or breadcrumbs, be sure to tear the bread into the bite size pieces, rather than cutting them with a knife. The rough, ragged, torn edges of the bread chunks get crispy with lots of crannies that soak up the olive oil and spices to really amp up the texture and flavor (plus, it looks really professional!).
Step 2: Toss your breadcrumbs in a few tablespoons of olive oil and about a teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest (add more to taste, if you like). I made about 2 cups of breadcrumbs and saved the leftovers to use for salads throughout the week, but the recipe calls for ½ cup breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1 teaspoon lemon zest.
Step 3: Season with salt to taste and bake your breadcrumbs, tossing once at the halfway point, for about 8 minutes total, until golden.
Step 4: Set a large pot of salted water on to boil. Prepping your chard entails separating the stem and thick part of the rib from the leafy part.
Step 5: Cook the chard leaves in the boiling water for about 1 minute, drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Once cool, drain and squeeze out excess moisture in a clean dish towel.
Step 6: Heat 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and chard ribs and stems. Add mushrooms (if using). Season with salt and pepper, stir often for about 5-8 minutes, until the stems are tender and the mushrooms have cooked off most of their liquid.
Step 7: Add ¾ cup heavy cream and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer stirring often until thickened, about 10 minutes. The mushrooms add moisture to the mixture so the thickening will take longer than if you aren’t using them. If you aren’t adding mushrooms, it should only take about 5 minutes.
Step 8: Add chard leaves and cook, stirring to warm the chard leaves and coat them with the cream mixture. Season with more salt and pepper.
Step 9: Top with breadcrumbs just before serving.
Preheat oven to 400°. Toss breadcrumbs, oil, and lemon zest on a rimmed baking sheet; season with salt. Toast, tossing once, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook chard leaves in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, about 1 minute. Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and squeeze well in a clean kitchen towel to remove excess moisture.
Heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots and chard ribs and stems, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until tender, 5–8 minutes. Add cream; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 4 minutes. Add chard leaves and cook, stirring, until warmed through and coated with cream sauce; season with salt and pepper.
Top Swiss chard with breadcrumbs just before serving.
Whenever Alex and I go (or, went!) to a steakhouse for a special occasion, we always get creamed spinach as a side dish – it’s Alex’s favorite and it’s a special treat. I have never made creamed leafy greens before and while this recipe isn’t a 1:1 for the steakhouse staple, I have to say that Alex approved! This, and variations of it, will definitely be in rotation on our menu at home.
I do hope you give this recipe for creamed leafy greens a go: try it with any leafy greens you have (frozen spinach!), add in other veggies to suit your taste or toss in whatever you need to use up in the fridge. It’s a hearty side that can easily serve as a main dish. Let me know if you try it and what modifications you make to make it your own! Thanks for tuning in today, take care and be well. xo Kelly