I knew nothing about chard - beyond the fact that it was green and leafy - so had to do a quick google search to find out how best to cook it/use it. I was fascinated to discover that it's related to the beetroot family. It does taste very mildly like beetroot - it's got a subtle, earthy flavour to it - doesn't turn your tongue pink though.... yes... I tested it. Twice.
You can use the stalks of the chard like you would celery, and the leaves like you would spinach. Trina and her mum had both tried it in a salad and not been impressed, so I thought I'd have a go at something different and came across a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall for a Chard and Chickpea Curry, that I altered to suit the ingredients that I had available... because I STILL never have everything I need to follow a recipe.
As I've never cooked with Chard before - this recipe is going into this month's Our Growing Edge link up - hosted by Palachinka from Food and Travel. Our Growing Edge is aimed at connecting food bloggers everywhere and inspiring us to challenge ourselves and try new things. It's a great idea and absolutely everyone is welcome to join in, so come on over and take a look for yourselves.
Oh yeah... the curry was lush. I think I may be having an affair with chickpeas.
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Chard and Chickpea Curry Recipe
Prep time - 5 minutes
Cooking time - 35 minutes
Total time - 40 minutes
You will need
A medium skillet/saucepan.
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 onions - chopped
4 garlic cloves - crushed
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
pinch of chilli flakes
300g chard - stalks chopped, leaves shredded - do not combine the two.
400g can chickpeas - drained and rinsed
400g can chopped tomatoes
200ml vegetable stock
300g chestnut mushrooms - thickly sliced
1 tsp garam masala
salt and pepper
- Heat the oil in the pan and sauté the onions for 10 minutes.
- Add the garlic, ginger and spices, and cook for 1 minute.
- Throw in the chopped chard stalks and cook for five minutes.
- Add the chickpeas and tomatoes and vegetable stock, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15 minutes, stirring from time to time.
- Stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the chard leaves and cook for a few minutes, stirring often, until the leaves are tender and wilted.
- Stir in the garam masala, add salt and pepper to taste and serve with rice and/or flatbreads.