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Swiss Chard Tacos?

Sounds crazy, huh?

One of my coworkers, Mary, who goes to the Santa Monica Farmers Market for Frieda’s each Wednesday, always bring us back samples of the latest and greatest new fruits and vegetables she finds while exploring. (She also gets to hob knob with all of L.A.’s most famous and persnickety chefs and foodies.)

Over the past few weeks she has brought us some beautiful specimens of Swiss Chard. Lately it has been the brightly colored Rainbow Chard. Each time she brings some to the office, I tear off a piece to munch on. Some people think you can only eat Chard cooked, but you can eat it raw, too.

So, last week I asked her what she was going to do with all that Chard. She replied, “Swiss Chard Tacos!”

The only tacos I’ve ever made are the ones for Taco Tuesday, which my daughter Sophia hosts at our house once a month. Ground turkey meat with taco seasoning, topped with shredded lettuce and cheese, sour cream and avocado.

I was fascinated with this new fangled Swiss Chard Taco. But I was extremely disappointed because Mary wasn’t able to bring me any leftovers the next day. Her husband and two sons ate every single one of the tacos, so I guess I will have to make them myself at home.

If you’re like me, you are always trying to find a new fruit or vegetable to try from the supermarket. And of course, finding a new, tasty recipe is always a challenge. I’m thinking that if I don’t tell my “new vegetable-phobic” family what’s inside these tacos, I may have a hit on my hands.

Check out the slightly modified recipe, which Mary clipped from the May 2011 Martha Stewart Living Magazine:

Beans-and-Greens Tacos with Goat Cheese
(Personalized by Mary)

3 Tbps. extra virgin olive oil (Mary used ½ butter and ½ olive oil)
2 red onions, sliced in ¼ inch rounds
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 pound Swiss Chard (try using Rainbow Chard), leaves and ribs washed well and coarsely chopped
1 cup canned cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup vegetable or chicken stock (Mary did not use)
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
8 white corn tortillas
1/3 cup soft goat cheese
8 cilantro sprigs (or you can chop coarsely)

1. Heat oil in a large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until soft, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Stir in Chard (Cook ribs first, then remove from pan. Then cook leaves in same pan, using the liquid from the washed Chard to wilt the greens. Then add the ribs back in). Then add beans. (If you want to add the stock, you can do it here). Cook until greens and beans are warmed through, about 4 minutes. Season with ¾ teaspoon salt and some pepper to taste.
2. Using tongs, hold each tortilla directly over a gas flame, turning, until heated through, about 5 seconds. (Alternatively, wrap tortillas in foil and warm in a 350-degree oven). Spread each warmed tortilla with softened goat cheese and spoon Chard filling onto tortillas. Top with Cilantro.

Mary served them with a purchased tomatillos salsa. (In Southern California we have Mexican restaurants and taco stands everywhere, so she just purchased some tomatillo salsa at the taco stand around the corner from her house.)

Let me know what you think of this new way of serving Swiss Chard. Please post your comments below.


P.S. Due to a technical glitch with our email subscription service, you may not have received my post from Tuesday about my personal connection with the upcoming Undercover Boss show. Please make sure you read it by clicking here:

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