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Saturday
Feb052011

« Swiss Chard meets Artisanal Bacon »

I have to confess, I am completely blown away by the artisanal bacon sold at Eataly.  The bacon is sourced from a small farm in Wisconsin, and puts store bought bacon to shame.  As you can see from the picture above, it is extremely lean and its' rendered fat has a light, silky consistency to it.

I purchased a small piece several weeks ago and was waiting (patiently) for the right opportunity to cash in on the calories.  The right opportunity finally presented itself last Saturday, when I picked up 2 beautiful bunches of swiss chard at the vegetable market.

I only recently "discovered" this versatile green, and now I can't get enough of it.  It is widely available all year round, and very reasonably priced.  Many recipes and videos (see below) recommend throwing away the stem, claiming it is too tough or bitter to eat. This is nonsense.  If the swiss chard is young and fresh, the stems are delicious and add a lovely texture and color to any dish. They just need to cook a little longer than the chards.

Swiss chard leaves are deep greeen, but the stems vary in color. The most common varieties have red and white stems, but there are also varieties which have bright yellow stems.  Like fresh spinach, swiss chard collects alot of sand and dirt, so be sure to wash it thoroughly before using it.

If you do not have bacon (or want to avoid the extra calories), you can use olive oil to sauté the greens.

I originally planned to have this as a side dish, but ended up eating it as a main course with some yellow rice.  The leftovers stayed well in the refrigerator for a few days, and the dish was just as delicious the second time around

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Reader Comments (2)

While I appreciate your recipe, the Wisconsin-Eataly-bought bacon seems extreme! You can buy great bacon from NEW YORK farms at half the farmer's markets in town. You'll be supporting local agriculture and local farmers, and probably paying 2/3 the Eataly price, to boot! (Two of my favorite CSA's - the Piggery and High Point Farms - offer bacon in their meat shares, for year round bacon deliciousness!)

June 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAstrid Cook

Point well taken -- buying local, fresh products should be a priority. And as readers of this blog know,I am a passionate supporter of local agriculture. I source most of the vegetables, eggs, cheese and wine I use locally: I am a member of the Tribeca CSA, and I buy local products at the Tribeca Green Market and Latham's Farm Stand on Eastern LI. But sometimes in a pinch, it is not always possible.

I also think that as educated, well informed adults we are forced to make choices on a daily basis -- many of which are far from ideal. So for me, buying organic bacon (made from humanely raised animals) is a far better choice than buying nitrate and antibiotic ladened bacon from a slaughter mill somewhere -- even if it means paying the outrageous prices at Eataly. In my world, this is not extreme. It is an informed decision.

I would love to know where to purchase bacon from these farmers. Do they sell their goods at the any green market here in the city? If someone knows, please drop me a line.I would also love it if we could buy meat shares through the Tribeca CSA. But we are a young CSA, and this is perhaps a step we can take in the future.

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I really appreciate it.

June 23, 2011 | Registered CommenterMichelle

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