Chard

Basic Cooking Instructions
Discard any damaged or discoloured leaves and rinse well. Stems require more cooking than leaves, or may be discarded – feed to the guinea pig ! Boil for 10 minutes or steam.

Freezing Instructions
Blanch leaves for 2 minutes in boiling water. Pack in rigid containers and freeze. Cook from frozen in a little butter and its own juice for 3-5 minutes.

Recipes
Braised Swiss / Ruby Chard
400g Swiss or ruby chard ......................3 tablespoons oil
1 clove garlic, chopped ...........................1 glass water
seasoning ..................................................half a red chilli pepper, chopped (optional)
Cut into small strips. Fry garlic and chilli, add chard and stir fry for 2-3 minutes. Add water, cover and cook for 12-15 minutes or until tender, stirring from time to time. Season to taste.

Chard and Gruyere Tart
100g plain flour .......................................5g wholemeal flour
100ml oil, plus extra ...............................500g chard
3 medium eggs ........................................75g gruyere cheese, grated
25g parmesan, grated ............................50g pinenuts
Sift flours into a bowl, pour in oil and knead to a sticky dough. Press into fluted flan dish. Chill for 20 minutes, then bake blind for 10 minutes at 180C/Gas 5. Meanwhile rinse and steam/boil chard leaves until just wilted. Cut into tiny pieces and season. Spread the chard across pastry case. Beat together eggs and cheese and pour over. Dry fry the pinenuts until toasted and sprinkle over the top. Bake for 30-35 minutes until just set. Serves 4.

Cheese, chard and cherry tomato lasagne
1 litre milk .............................................50g butter or margarine
50g plain flour .......................................500g chard
250g lasagne sheets ..............................500g cherry tomatoes
4 tablespoons fresh basil leaves ..........100g parmesan, grated
250g mozzarella seasoning
Melt butter, mix in flour, add milk gradually, and bring to boil, stirring continuously to make a smooth sauce. Season. Rinse chard and wilt. Squeeze to remove excess moisture. Spoon approximately a third of the sauce into an ovenproof dish. Scatter over half the chard, a third of the tomatoes, a third of the cheeses and a third of the basil. Place a layer of lasagne on top. Repeat the layers, ending with a layer of sauce, basil, cheese and tomatoes. Bake for 45 minutes at 190C/Gas 5 until golden. Serves 4.