Its spring break!! I stopped at the fruit and vegetable market for the basics just to get us through week before we go out of town for a few days. Then I saw this massive bunch of rainbow chard, I could not resist it was so pretty. I really did not need it but I wanted it, so it came home with me. Then I got it home and realized just how much chard I bought. It was such a huge bunch that it would not fit in the vegetable drawer in the fridge. Ok time to use this stuff up! I decided that a fresh salad would be a good plan for some of the smaller more tender leaves, originally this was not a blog recipe it was just part of dinner. It was so tasty that I decided I had to share it with all of you.
Ok so what is chard, I had to field a lot questions from my skeptical family along those lines, so I am just going to fill you guys in. It is a big leafy green that is something between spinach and beet tops and its super healthy. It is a great source of calcium and potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A and beta-carotene, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin. It has large leaves that are a little bitter when raw and the stems are tough and need to be cooked or pickled to be eaten. Rainbow is not a kind of chard it just what grocery stores call a bunch of mixed varieties/colors of chard. Taste each color in your bunch and you will see they each have a slightly different flavor. When you cook the leaves they cook like sturdier spinach and they have a mellow woodsy flavor. Raw they are bitter, taste some you will see. So I treated them like cabbage dressing them with a coleslaw like dressing and adding something sweet and something salty. The resulting salad was so great, we inhaled it. There were no leftovers, I had to make a second salad the next day for my lunch so I could take photos for this article. Hope you enjoy this as much as we did.
Rainbow Chard Salad with Apple and Radishes
- 1 small bunch of rainbow chard
- 1 apple
- 5-10 radishes
- Handful of dry apricots
- 3-6 oz of blue cheese
- 4 tbs of cider vinegar
- 1 tbs of lemon infused olive oil use zest of lemon if you don’t have this oil
- 2 tbs of olive oil
- Salt and pepper
Start by striping the chard off the large center stems. This can be done either with a knife or just dragging your fingers up either side of the stem pulling the green leaf off. Once you have the long strips rinse them well and dry either with paper towels or a salad spinner. Then slice into thin bite sized ribbons. Set aside.
The dressing is very simple, just mix the ingredients together, and give it a taste. If you would like it sweeter a little honey or agave would be a nice addition. Mix the dressing in a bowl that will accommodate your sliced apple and radish. I used a mandolin for the radish so I got pretty paper thin slices, watch your fingers. The apple I left the skin on removed the core and sliced thin wedges with my knife. As you work put the sliced apple and radish into the dressing to keep it from browning.
Chop the apricot into small bits and crumble the blue cheese. I used a firm and not too strong blue cheese that the guy from Whole Foods recommended, but I am guessing your favorite blue, goat or gorgonzola will work. Ok time to assemble!
Start your assembly by tossing the chard with a few tablespoons of the dressing, just enough to coat it lightly. I used my hands and did the tossing right in the serving bowl. Then add the apple and radish mixing them through the whole salad. Last top the salad with apricot and cheese. Enjoy!!