Barese Swiss chard is chard bred to grow and look like bok choy. If you’re a gardener know that flea beetles love bok choy. Holes in produce does not bother us, but the holes don’t settle as well with everyone else. So, what’s nice about Barese is that bugs don’t like Swiss chard. We can grow something very similar to bok choy, but not have to worry about flea beetles.
But what does it taste like and how should I cook it? Fair question. I think the leaves taste like bok choy and the stems like Swiss chard. As for cooking, you can cook it any way you would Swiss chard or bok choy.
The first meal that comes to mind is stir fry. Stir fry is one of those meals which will clear out your refrigerator and I love those meals. I don’t let myself get too concerned about stir fry. I look at what we have, chop it up, and then throw together a sauce.
We are getting to that point of the year where our fridge is overloaded with vegetables. Sometimes, I don’t even want to open it because we just have piles of produce. But today, I decided to throw together a stir fry and was excited when a couple friends and their kids stopped by. I could make a bigger stir fry!
The recipe below is based on today’s lunch. Don’t be held to this! Use what you have in your refrigerator. You have bell peppers? Use them! Also, be sure to taste and adjust your sauce. You may not want it as spicy as this one or you may want to add a squeeze of lime juice. Go for it!
Easy Stir Fry
* serves 4-6 adults
- 1 carrot, cut on the bias
- 1 portobello mushroom, sliced
- 1 bunch mini broccoli, including leaves, cut into large pieces
- 1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise and then in 1/2 inch pieces
- 6 garlic scapes, cut into 1 inch pieces
- 4 scallion, white ends cut on the bias – reserve and chop greens to top the finished stir fry
- Handful of snow peas
- 1 head barese Swiss chard, rough chopped
- 4 leaves from a large Napa cabbage, rough chopped
- 2-4 Tablespoons canola or peanut oil
- 1/2 cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup Hoisin sauce
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp fish sauce
- 2 Tbsp Sambal Eolek (chili paste)
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 heaping tsp grated ginger
- 1 1/2 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 package soba noodles
- Cook soba noodles according to directions. Drain and set aside.
- Prepare all vegetables.
- Mix together soy sauce through grated ginger. Taste and adjust to your liking. Stir in corn starch making sure there are no lumps. Set aside.
- Heat a wok or large stock pot over high heat. Add 2 Tablespoons oil and swirl to coat wok/pan.
- Add carrot and stir fry for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and stir fry for another minute. Add broccoli, zucchini, garlic scapes, and scallions. Stir fry for 1 minute. Add peas, barese Swiss chard, and Napa cabbage. Stir fry until greens wilt. Add oil at any point when pan gets dry.
- Add soy sauce mixture and stir fry until thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
- Place soba noodles in a bowl and spoon vegetable stir fry on top. Finish with scallions.
This was such an excellent lunch and I can now look in my refrigerator again!
Another idea for barese Swiss chard is to make the filling below. This filling can go into fresh pasta as we did below, but it can also be used a number of other ways. Spread it on some bread and make an amazing grilled sandwich. Toss it with hot penne pasta for a tasty dinner. Warm it in a small ramekin dish to make a savory dip for crispy crostini.
Barese Swiss Chard & Goat Cheese Filling
- 1 1/2 cup potato, cooked and rough smashed
- 1 cup barese Swiss chard, blanched, water squeezed out, and chopped
- 1/2 cup Spanish chorizo, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 Tablespoon onion, minced
- 1 Tablespoon parsley, minced
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 8 oz goat cheese, crumbled
- Salt & pepper
- Heat a saucepan over medium-high heat.
- Add olive oil and swirl to coat pan. Add onion and saute for a couple minutes until softened. Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add parsley, chorizo, Swiss chard, and potato. Cook through. Set aside to cool.
- Once cooled completely, stir in goat cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- At this point, you can stuff your ravioli, make your grilled sandwich, or whatever you plan to do with the filling and enjoy!