June 15, 2009
As I mentioned earlier, Mr. FaT and I are buying most of our fruits and veggies through a CSA share program for the first time. A month in, I’m totally hooked, and the produce section at my local supermarket seems almost like a different planet—what are those rock-hard things masquerading as tomatoes, anyway?
The first two weeks, the most exotic element in our share was rhubarb, which at one reader’s suggestion I cooked up into a simple compote that tasted amazing on everything from waffles to vanilla ice cream.
But this week, the star of the show was Swiss chard, looking more perky and bright than I’d ever seen it before (even at Whole Foods). I wanted to eat it immediately, and proposed a stir-fry…but Mr. FAT, being still in the honeymoon phase with our new stand mixer, wanted dinner to involve dough. So we compromised: Swiss chard pizza!
We used the pizza dough recipe in The Joy of Cooking, although we tossed in a little extra salt and used bread flour instead of all-purpose flour. While it finished rising, we prepared the chard as follows:
Rinse a dozen or so large chard leaves and remove the stems (save if you’re planning to make a veggie soup soon; they’re edible, but take longer to cook). Roll the leaves up and chop them into strips. In the meantime, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan with freshly chopped garlic and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. When the garlic has started to brown, toss in the chopped chard and saute for about 3 minutes. Use a spatula to press excess water out of the chard before transferring it to a bowl. Let it cool enough to handle. In the meantime, pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees (higher if you are using a baking stone), and spread the dough on your pizza pan/peel.
Spray or sprinkle olive oil on the crust, then spread the chard evenly over the top, using your fingers to separate the leaves if they’ve cooked into one big lump. Top with slices of mozzarella cheese and bake for 10 minutes or so, until it’s done! If you have an herb garden, fresh oregano makes a great garnish.
It was delicious, despite being more charred than chard in a few spots (my oven is funky) but as usual, I’ve since spotted several other recipes that look even better. Next time, we may try the Foodie Farmgirl’s Swiss Chard and Artichoke White Pizza, or make our own garlic oil as the Sidewalk Shoes blogger suggests.
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