October 15, 2007

Swiss Chard with Garlic Mustard Vinaigrette

My local vegetable market had freshly picked Swiss chard. The leaves were young and tender and a vibrant green. Naturally gluten free, Swiss chard is a versatile leafy green vegetable. It is a member of the goosefoot family, along with beets and spinach. The leaves and stems are edible, but the roots are not.

The leaves can be used like those of beets or spinach, i.e. boiled, braised, sautéed, steamed, and roasted. The stems can be cooked and used like asparagus. Swiss chard can be used in quiche, soups, salads, stuffing and sauces.

The World's Healthiest Foods website, from the George Mateljan Foundation, regards Swiss chard as one of nature's super star foods. It is high in Vitamins K, A & C, and an excellent source of minerals and fiber. The Nutrition Database also notes that chard has calcium, iron, protein and is low on the Glycemic index.

Swiss chard is available in many areas year round, although it is generally at it's peak June through August. You can store your unwashed chard in the refrigerator for several days and the stalked longer if they are separated from the leaves. There are a variety of ways to use chard in a recipe, such as Mediterranean Swiss Chard, Sauteed Swiss Chard Ribs with Cream and Pasta, Swiss Chard Tart with Roasted Pumpkin and Basil, Swiss Chard Pesto and Swiss Chard Spanakopita.

The young leaves of the Swiss chard I had picked up at the vegetable market to be peppery rather like argula. I thought a hearty mustard would go well with it and that was the inspiration behind my Swiss Chard Salad with Garlic Mustard Vinaigrette.

Vinagrette Recipe

½ cup olive oil
2 Tb vinegar
2 Tb German style mustard
¼ tsp + dash black pepper
½ tsp + dash sea salt
1 minced garlic clove
¼ tsp garlic powder
Dash onion powder
½ tsp minced onion

In a medium sized bowl, pour in all the ingredients and whisk. Store in the refrigerator.

What did my family think of the Swiss Chard and the Garlic Vinaigrette? My children didn't care for the taste of the chard, nor did they like the garlic mustard vinaigrette. It was way too spicy for them. My husband and I, on the other hand, thought the chard had a wonderful peppery bite and it was particularly good with the mustard vinaigrette. We've gone back to the vegetable market to buy more Swiss chard as we ate the first batch we bought all up.


Cindy said...

This looks great! I saw it on the gf blog feed on my site and I love it. I plan to make it when I get home and I'll let you know how it pans out. You have some delicious looking recipes here, please ziploc them and mail them to me :)

I love the colors here and I bet this would be great with a ginger (and garlic?) dressing. Maybe I'll try that so I don't copy you too much, hehe. Please keep posting this, I don't manage to comment often but I really enjoy your recipes.

Abby said...

Beautiful salad. I'm not GF, but I'm curious about the lifestyle and I've found so many GF blogs!

I often use swiss chard in omelets ... yummm.

Sheltie Girl said...

Cindy - I'm glad you liked the salad. We've had it and the garlic mustard vinaigrette several times since then. My husband wants me to keep this dressing around all the time.

Take care -

Sheltie Girl

Sheltie Girl said...

Abby - Thank you for swinging by and reading Gluten A Go Go. There are a lot of great gluten free blogs with wonderful food on them. I hope you enjoy all the delicious recipes that you find.

Sheltie Girl