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The jewel in the garden: red chard

Swiss chard are the only vegetables that have the same color P-O-W as flowers. I just love the brilliance of red chard.

Our chard was a slow starter. While the cauliflowers and Brussels sprouts jumped up from the ground, the chard barely grew for the longest time.  Now we're nearing harvest and the question is what can we do with it?

I get stymied about how to fix it. I just found a wonderful sounding "New York Times Cooking" recipe for Swiss Chard Slab Pie. Essentially, it's two layers of dough with a chard, onion, white wine and sour cream layer between.  The edges are crimped, the top slitted and washed with egg whites, then baked for 50 to 55 minutes.

I suspect that the filling could be made and served without being tucked into the crust.  Here's the filling recipe:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large red onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Kosher salt to taste
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground ginger
Pinch of red pepper flakes
3 pounds of red Swiss chard, stems separated and cut into 1/4-inch pieces and leaves roughly chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup sour cream
Black pepper to taste
1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water

In a pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, garlic and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until just softened, about five minutes.  Add the coriander, ginger and red pepper flakes.  Add the chard stems and cook until just softened, about six minutes.

Stir in the chard leaves in large handfuls, letting them wilt before adding more.  Add wine, reduce heat to medium, and cook until the leaves are tender and the liquid has evaporated, about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a colander to cool completely and drain.  When cool, mix chard with sour cream and season with salt and pepper.

At this stage, you could enclose it in dough or a pie crust or phyllo.  But I think if it were warmed up slightly, you could serve it without the dough.

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