the secret ingredient is love

Sunday, July 29, 2012

A Really Delicious (and Pretty) Swiss Chard Salad

Well, I had a baby at the end of May. I spent weeks just staring at her perfect little face, napping and soaking it up, sustained and nurtured by spectacular meals made and delivered by friends and family. It works like this: you have a baby, and someone, like your sister, calls up all your friends and invites them to prepare you a meal and deliver it on a particular day. That means your baby-admiring visitors come one at a time, and when they do, it's the best thing ever. We ate handmade sushi one night and baked macaroni and cheese with freshly baked bread the next,  followed by stuffed pork chops with grilled vegetables, chicken cacciatore, Thai curry, roasted ham and vegetables.....

There was so much love in that food. I never wanted to cook again. Thankfully. two months later, I'm regaining my passion for the kitchen. It helps to have a weekly box of lovely vegetables delivered to me from my friend Sarah's new farm. Like many gardens in the Valley, hers produces lots of beautiful Swiss Chard.

I love Rainbow chard braised with lots of garlic and caramelized onions, but I'm always a little disappointed that the brilliance of its orange, pale green and red stems fades with cooking. Chard is slightly challenging as a raw salad green when it's mature, which is why the dressing I make for this is extra scrumptious.  It's a big gorgeous salad with lots of extra yummy things that make it just right for your next summer barbecue, or to bring to a new mother. ❤

Pretty Delicious Swiss Chard Salad 

1 bunch rainbow Swiss Chard, washed and cut into ribbons
1/2 cup crumbled Feta
1/4 cup chopped Almonds
1/2 cup slivered Red Onion
A big handful of Raspberries
1/4 cup dried Cranberries

Spread the chard on a large platter and arrange the feta, almonds, red onion, raspberries and cranberries on top.  Drizzle with lots of the dressing just before serving and toss gently.

Dressing:

1/4 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 cup Olive Oil
1/4 cup Balsamic Vinegar
1 teaspoon Salt
2 teaspoons Grainy Mustard
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
Shake all the ingredients together in a jar with a tight fitting lid.


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