I have been using and cooking with chard for a while now. Chard is not very known in Hungary and it is not easy to find in markets. In Hungarian, we call it mangold. I usually buy it from my favourite producer, Matyas at the largest organic farmers market in Budapest.
Chard has shiny green ribbed leaves, with stems that range from white (most popular in Hungary) to yellow to red, depending on the cultivar. It has a slightly bitter taste. Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked or sauteed; their bitterness fades with cooking, leaving a refined flavor. Its taste has similarities to spinach and maybe kale. Chard is high in vitamins A, K and C, and also rich in minerals, dietary fiber and protein. I adapted the recipe (with a few things changed) from Green Kitchen Stories.
Creamy White Bean and Chard “Risotto”
– 2 cans white beans, washed and drained well
– 3-4 bigger chard leaves (if you use smaller, you need 6-8 leaves), stems dices, leaves slice into thin strips
– 1 onion, finely chopped
– 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
– 2 and 1/2 cups (375 ml) vegetable stock
– 6 tablespoons mascarpone cheese
– 1/2 organic lemon’s zest and juice
– fresh thyme
– coconut or olive oil
– salt, pepper
Heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil or 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan on medium heat, add chopped onion, garlic and stems of the chards. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until get tender. Pour 1 cup (250 ml) stock into the saucepan and cook and stir the vegetables until the stock almost evaporated. Now add the sliced chard leaves, the beans and the remaining 1/2 cup (125 ml) stock. Cook and stir for 5-6 minutes, then add mascaropne, thyme and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Serve it with lemon zest on top.