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Simply Declicious – Swiss Chard

Susan Hay cooks in this week's Simply Delicious. Valerie Laillet / Global News

If herbivores eat plants, and carnivores eat meat, then ‘locavores’ eat local. With the abundance of fresh fruits and greens, it’s easy to eat food grown close to home in Ontario. In this week’s Simply Delicious, we look at locally grown Swiss Chard. They grow in tall chutes and are known for their ruffled green leaves. Susan Hay and Chef Corbin Tomaszeski take this leafy green from farm to fork this week with a warm salad.

Here’s the recipe:

Warm Beet and Swiss Chard Salad

with baby beets, goat cheese and tarragon vinaigrette

 Recipe by: Chef Corbin Tomaszeski

 

Yield- 2 servings

Salad Base

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3 cups beet tops, washed and trimmed

3 cups swiss chard- washed and trimmed

1 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

Salt and Pepper to taste

Juice from ½ lemon

 

Salad Topping

1 ½ cups cooked baby beets

½ cup sliced seedless grapes

¼ cup toasted walnuts

½ cup crumbled chevre

4 tbsp. tarragon vinaigrette

 

Tarragon Vinaigrette- combine all ingredients into an airtight container, cover with a lid and shake until mix through

1 oz. Sherry Vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

¼ tsp. Dijon Mustard

1 clove garlic- minced

1 tsp. minced shallots

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3 oz. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. chopped fresh tarragon

 

Method

Pre-heat a large skillet over medium-to high heat.  Add the olive oil to the pan and sauté the beet tops and swiss chard for 3-4 minutes or until just wilted.  Remove the wilted greens and dress with lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Line a large serving platter with the cooked, cooled greens.  Top with the sliced baby beets, seedless grapes, toasted walnuts and crumble cheese.  Lightly drizzle the tarragon vinaigrette over the salad and serve.

Swiss Chard is one of the superfoods, and is a nutritional powerhouse. They contain vitamin K, which helps maintain strong and healthy bones, and have a high amount of Vitamin C, which gives your immune system a great boost. They’re also a great source of Vitamin A , fibre and protein.

Swiss Chard is available in a variety of stalk colours- red, yellow and white.

We followed Swiss Chard from sowing to harvest at Riga Farms, in the Holland Marsh. The seeding is done with a machine; a seedling tray, full of soil goes through a seeder as it spins, then through a vaccum that creates suction, and comes up on a top coater, full of fermiculite. With this technology, they’re able to fill about 100 tray in 13 minutes. Then, they transplant the leafy green from the greenhouse to the field. In total, swiss chard is a 60 day crop, but it doesn’t take long to get to you.

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Peter Riga, from Riga Farms, says “we can have it there (at the grocery store), within a span of 13-14 hours, it would be in your kitchen. It’s close to home. By the time it gets to the consumer, it doesnt take too long at all. So you’re guaranteed freshness that way.” Peter adds they’ll be harvesting Swiss Chard up until Thanksgiving.

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