If you’re like me and the supply of those fun size treats leftover from Halloween seems to be “mysteriously” shrinking, you’re ready to balance out the sugar surge by incorporating some dark green leafy veggies into your diet. Even if you’ve resisted the temptation of the tiny treats, it’s always good to have new ways to work in a dark green veggie that is a mainstay of the “super foods” lists and a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as iron.
This savory recipe by local chef and cookbook author Robin Asbell, which appeared in Real Food, uses chard, which is usually called Swiss chard. This leafy green has nothing to do with the Swiss, notes Asbell. Arabs carried it throughout the Mediterranean in antiquity. Whether red-, yellow-, or white-stemmed, the leaves are almost as tender as spinach.
When buying greens, look for leaves that aren’t limp, discolored, or slimy. One surprising thing to keep in mind when storing greens, notes Asbell, is that you should never put them in the veggie drawer with apples, avocados, or other fruits that give off gases as they ripen—the gases will wilt greens quickly. And washing greens requires plenty of water—it’s best to completely immerse and swish the crinkly leaves to get the dirt out, then spin-dry or shake them off and pat them with towels. You can often strip the leaves from the stems by hand, or lay them flat on a cutting board to slice each half from the rib.
And if you can’t resist the urge to follow up with a “fun size” leftover, perhaps this may help balance it all out a little.
Swiss Chard, Sun-dried Tomato, and GruyeÌ€re Strudel
Serves 4 as an EntreÌe, 8 as a Side
1 lb. chard
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary
1 c. sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated and chopped
6 oz. GruyeÌ€re cheese, shredded
2 large eggs
1⁄2 tsp. salt
1⁄2 tsp. freshly cracked pepper
6 pieces filo dough
olive oil spray
Preheat oven to 400°F.
Place chard in a clean sink or salad spinner and fill it with cold water. Wash chard well, then spin dry. Strip leaves from stems, keeping them separate. Thinly slice stems and chop the chard.
Put a large pot over high heat, and when hot, add olive oil and onion. When onion starts to sizzle, reduce heat and sauteÌ until tender. Add garlic, chard stems, and rosemary, and sauteÌ for about 5 minutes more. Add chard leaves and cook until wilted and soft, about 5 minutes. Transfer mixture to a large bowl, pressing it against the side of the pot to leave any extra juices behind. Let cool.
Add sun-dried tomatoes, GruyeÌ€re, and eggs to greens in bowl. Add salt and pepper and stir. Prepare a wide expanse of counter for assembly. Unwrap filo and cover it first with plastic wrap, then with a lightly dampened towel. Use olive oil spray to coat a large baking sheet. Place one sheet of filo on baking sheet, then spray filo with oil. Repeat, layering filo in a stack. On the half of the rectangle of dough closer to you, spread the chard filling, leaving an inch at each end to fold in. Fold the ends in over the filling, then roll up from the bottom to make a long cylinder. Place it seam side down on baking sheet pan and spritz top and ends with oil. Cut slashes across roll.
Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in a center slash comes out with no raw egg on it, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before slicing.
Nutrition info (per serving): Calories 227 (113 from fat); Fat 13g (sat. 5g); Chol 76mg; Sodium 552mg; Carb 18g; Fiber 3g; Protein 11g