Creamed Swiss Chard with Bacon

October 30th, 2008  |  Published in All, Chard, Delectable Dairy, Most Popular, Veritable Vegetables, Weeknight Recipes  |  12 Comments

Creamed Swiss Chard

Creamed Swiss Chard with Bacon

1 large bunch mixed white and yellow swiss chard
2 slices thick cut bacon, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
1 c. whole milk
salt, pepper, nutmeg

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Cut the center stems from the swiss chard leaves, and slice into 1/4-1/2 inch pieces.  Coarsely chop leaves. Add stems to boiling water and boil for 7 minutes.  Add leaves and boil for an addition 4-5 minutes.  Drain chard, pressing with the back of a spoon to expel as much liquid as possible. Transfer to cutting board and chop into bite size or smaller pieces.

Return emptied pot to the stove and adjust heat to medium high.  Add bacon and saute until almost crisp.  Add garlic and cook for about 1-2 minutes.  Add chopped chard and stir to evenly mix.  Remove from heat.

Make Béchamel:
In a small saucepan, melt butter and add flour.  Mix with a fork break up any chunks and blend until smooth.  Once mixture starts bubbling, cook for 2 minutes, then add milk, whisking until smooth.  Cook until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon.  Remove from heat.  Drizzle enough béchamel sauce over the chard mixture so that it is well coated, but not so much that the chard is swimming in sauce.  Add salt, pepper, and nutmeg to taste, and enjoy!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

These past few weeks have been particularly busy and challenging for me.  I changed jobs, spent two weeks in Germany for work, recovered, and am now packing my bags to go again this weekend!  Oh yeah, and did I mention that Steven and I are getting ready to move to Europe?!  Food has been on the figurative back-burner, and I’ve been subsisting mostly on rye bread, baked beans, horseradish mashed potatoes, and homemade sauerkraut (I promise to post this recipe sometime soon!  It’s SO easy, and absolutely delicious!), along with strong coffee and the occasional glass of red wine or two.

But you know, that’s ok with me.  I like rye bread with baked beans and sauerkraut as much as the next person (actually, probably a lot MORE than the next person :) ).  Sometimes monotonous repetition is just what my mind/body needs — to totally forget about one area in order to focus on another… However, even with putting culinary pursuits on the back burner, I still made my weekly trip to the farmer’s market last weekend, and brought home (among other things) a beautiful bunch of mixed yellow and white swiss chard.

Swiss chard is arguably my favorite green, though lacinto kale is up there too.  However, I often find myself in a rut in how I cook chard, typically cut into ribbons, sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes.  delicious? as long as you don’t overcook it.  simple? yes.  kinda boring after a while….? …. certainly…..

So, today I decided to do a chard version of creamed spinach to change things up a bit.  Plus, creamed chard seemed to go better with my lunch of — you guessed it — mashed potatoes, rye bread, and sauerkraut.  This batch turned out particularly good, so I wanted to share the recipe.  Enjoy!

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  1. maybelles mom says:

    October 31st, 2008at 4:59 am(#)

    WOW, move to Europe?? congrats. Hope there are beets there.

  2. Jen says:

    October 31st, 2008at 8:19 am(#)

    maybelles mom — thanks! the move has been a long time in coming, and I am pretty excited (though a little anxious) now that it’s actually happening… One thing I am sure I’ll experiment a lot with next year is white asparagus (spargel) — the area that we’re moving to is famous for it

  3. We Are Never Full says:

    October 31st, 2008at 5:33 pm(#)

    enjoy the move to germany! i must say, this recipe is delightful! personally, i’ve always thought that chard and kale have been some of the most underrated and underused (and cheap!) greens in America. This would change people’s mind about using spinach!

  4. earth heart says:

    October 31st, 2008at 6:54 pm(#)

    Yum, my MIL used to prepare chard this way and I loved it.

    You have been busy! Congrats on your upcoming move.

    You know, sauerkraut just isn’t right unless there’s mashed potatoes and rye bread to go with it. :)

  5. Alanna @ A Veggie Venture says:

    November 1st, 2008at 5:19 am(#)

    A life-changing move, for sure — we’ll look forward to your settling into your new life!

  6. Erin says:

    November 3rd, 2008at 1:59 pm(#)

    Congratulations! I hope you keep us updated on your life in Germany. I have special interest in that as my husband is applying to a school in Germany, so we may be moving there for a while.

  7. Jen says:

    November 4th, 2008at 10:31 am(#)

    We Are Never Full — thanks for the good wishes! and I totally agree about kale and chard being underrated and underutilized! I haven’t come across too many interesting/out-of-the-ordinary recipes for either, so I’d encourage you (and everyone!) to post your ways of cooking these greens.

    earth heart — for my next fermentation adventure I am planning beet kraut! you prepare it very similarly to sauerkraut (i.e. grate vegetable, add salt, compress, wait), and I imagine it too would be great with mashed potatoes and rye bread…

    Alanna — thanks! I’m hoping to learn how to cook some traditional german dishes (knodel, brotchen, and pretzels are at the top of my list), and will definitely share on Modern Beet

    Erin — thanks! Where in Germany might you be moving?

  8. Erin says:

    November 4th, 2008at 12:26 pm(#)

    I am not 100% sure yet, we are still investigating, though it will likely be in or near Ramstein. Most of my time will be spent riding the rails around the continent, writing. While my husband will have his nose to the grindstone. I hope we are able to go.

  9. Alex says:

    November 7th, 2008at 1:53 am(#)

    Hellooo, thanks for stopping by Just Cook It. The pie crust looks (and sounds) incredible and that chard, wow, fantastic idea. Can’t wait to give that a go

  10. Kevin says:

    November 9th, 2008at 5:34 pm(#)

    Nice way to enjoy swiss chard!

  11. katy says:

    November 11th, 2008at 10:34 am(#)

    this looks amazing! we got creamed spinach from whole foods last night, but this looks more interesting *and* better! yum!

  12. What’s for dinner?: Quick Thanksgiving recipe links - Problem Solved - Work It, Mom! says:

    November 24th, 2008at 12:40 am(#)

    [...] beet: Creamed swiss chard with bacon. Sorry my vegetarian friends, but what dish isn’t made better with [...]

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