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Help me eat this: Rainbow chard and dill fenouil

Rainbow chard and dill fenouil

All right, y’all, the Farm Fresh Delivery peeps sent me some rainbow chard and dill fenouil this week. I only know that they sent me rainbow chard and dill fenouil because that’s what the labels say on these odd, green, leafy plants. If someone had asked me to name 100 vegetables last week, I would not have listed either rainbow chard or dill fenouil because I had never heard of them before. Any suggestions on how to prepare these veggies are welcome. I would especially appreciate any warnings, like if the fuzzy ends of the dill fenouil are poisonous or if the rainbow chard only turns rainbow colored when it’s gone rancid. Thanks!

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49 Comments

maxie • March 15, 2010 at 12:13 pm

We just had orange and red chard last night. Gently saute sliced onion (and garlic if you like garlicky) and the sliced chard leaves with a tiny bit of water or broth until done to your liking. Ours was so fresh, it only took about 10 minutes. You can squeeze lemon or sprinkle wine vinegar on it if you wish–I don’t, husband does.

Growing up we always had chard sauteed as above and then eggs scrambled into it–heavenly with my grandmother’s homemade bread!

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AquaMarine • March 15, 2010 at 12:15 pm

OK, hopefully dill fenouil is the same as regular old dill. And if so, here’s a real quick recipe:

One medium to large cucumber, cut up in cubes
2 tbs greek style yogurt
dill, to taste
sea salt, to taste

Blend together in a blender and you’ve got simple Cucumber Soup!

I realize you’re probably in an igloo right now and this may not appeal, but you must cut me some slack since I live in FL! Plus you have to admit, it can’t be any easier to make.

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vanessa • March 15, 2010 at 12:16 pm

I’ve gotten produce boxes in the past. i know your pain! it’s fun to figure out what to do with all these new things…but overwhelming. (especially in the winter when all you get is weird greens and root vegetables).

dill is an herb! sprinkle the ‘fuzzy ends’ in a cucumber salad. add a handfull of it near the end of the cook time of a barely soup (or any soup). i put it in a lot of things (think of it as parsely with a totally different taste) just to use it up. the taste is unique and mild.

chard can be used just like any other green. you can eat the whole leaf but cut out the toughest part of the stalk that you don’t feel up to chewing. sautee with olive oil/salt/pepper. or chop it up and toss in any soup of your choice.

good luck! and thanks for your blog. i enjoy it (and your book)

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maxie • March 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Forgot about the dill fenouil–I think what you’ve got is fennel leaves, not dill. Or maybe a cross? Taste it–If it resembles anise or mild licorice flavor it’s fennel.

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TigerTubaGirl • March 15, 2010 at 12:18 pm

Hi there! I.LOVE.Swiss chard. It’s so easy to fix! Wash it, cut the very bottoms off the stems, kind of fold it along the rib. Chop it into 1″ strips (keep the rib) and then cut across the strips to make it so that the strips end up 1″ by 2-ish”. Spin in the salad spinner to get it good and dry.

Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil in a large sauté pan. As the oil heats, put in a couple/few whole cloves of garlic that have been smushed a little. Once the oil just begins to smoke, add the chard and sauté until the ribs are tender-crunchy. It has a slight salty taste to it, and is a great accompaniment to fish.

Also, check out the NYTimes Recipes for Health section on chard: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/series/recipes_for_health/chard/index.html

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TigerTubaGirl • March 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

PS – if you’re getting random good-for-you produce delivered on a regular basis, I bet the other NYT Recipes for Health might come in handy, too. They pick a new healthy food item each week and write several easy-to-prepare recipes for it, in the name of de-mystifying food and getting all us Americans back into the kitchen again. It’s a great resource on what to do with all sorts of foods- black beans, chard, random greens, herbs, nuts, artichokes, even stale bread! You can find everything from herbs to Main site: http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/health/series/recipes_for_health/index.html?scp=1-spot&sq=recipes%20for%20health&st=cse

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Jen • March 15, 2010 at 12:24 pm

I just wanted to echo the same suggestions for the chard– saute in garlic and olive oil, finish with a dash of lemon or vinegar. It’s done when it tastes good and is pleasant to chew. For a quick lunch, I would throw in half a can of rinsed garbanzo beans at the end of the saute to get in some protein.

The dill (which is definitely not fennel, as someone mentioned above) is a really pungent herb. You can rinse it, let it dry a bit, chop up the leafy parts and freeze in a ziploc bag for quite some time, only taking out what you want for a dish (it defrosts pretty instantly). I love a pinch mixed into scrambled eggs, mixed with a little greek yogurt for a tomato/cucumber salad, or anywhere else the dill (think dill pickle) flavor seems like it would go well. It’s also really yummy with beets!

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KitschenBitsch • March 15, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Kale and Polenta Pie with Swiss Chard instead of Kale
http://www.kitschenbitsch.com/?p=3 Substitute the swiss chard for the kale — that was the original recipe’s suggestion anyway. It’s really good and a good way to ease yourself into eating some funky greens (and by funky I mean unusual.)

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fd • March 15, 2010 at 12:44 pm

I echo all those who say sautee in olive oil and garlic then douse generously with lemon. In southern italy they sometimes do the same but adding salted capers and grated salted ricotta (parmesan or grana to replace) but I find capers too strong.

as for the dill fenouille, i got similar stuff in a veggie delivery last year and was a little perplexed by it. eventually i used the frondy bit at the top as dill, so a nice herb for salads or to make greek tzatziki (sp?). the stalk part I steamed very briefly and then added olive oil, salt pepper and lemon and it was really tasty. Complete invention so it might have been just a lucky day in our kitchen. Looking forward to hear what you do with it!

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Jamie P • March 15, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Another good resource for recipe ideas is allrecipes.com-they have a great search feature where you can type in an ingredient and get a list of recipe ideas back.

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lulu • March 15, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Is there any chance your organic veggies come from or are sold for the Canadian, specifically québecois, market? The French sometimes use ‘fenouil bâtard’ to describe anethum graveolens, otherwise known as dill. So it might just be a bilingual label.

I usually use a small amount of chopped dill with fish, in herb butter or a mayonnaise.

It would get on my nerves to have to keep finding things to do with arbitrarily-selected vegetables, especially if I had to buy extra ingredients in order to be able to use them.

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Jill • March 15, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Love this recipe:
http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=1853920

It doesn’t call for rainbow chard, but that was all I could find the first time I made it–amazing!

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Aline • March 15, 2010 at 1:19 pm

As somebody else said – make Tzaziki with dill.
Greek yogurt (not the 0%, at least 2% or mix 0% with 2%), one or two cloves of finely chopped garlic, some shredded cucumber (drain out the liquid as much as possible) and then lot’s of fresh dill. Good stuff

For the rainbow chard – I make green smoothies every morning and throw in kale, chard, spinach – whatever I have at home. I have a recipe on my blog. After a while you get used to the flavor and the way you feel after having one in the morning really makes you addicted to the stuff.

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Carole • March 15, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Baby chard you can eat raw in a salad, but the older stuff like this, as people have said, you can saute in whatever way you like best. The rainbow and the plain green taste about the same, only one kind is prettier.

Dill is dill, whether it’s fresh or dried (I’m sure you are used to the dried). Dill is always excellent in scrambled eggs, or on sandwiches.

Don’t EVER let people make you feel bad for not knowing what a given vegetable or fruit might be. You’re eating and learning and you know FAR more than the vast majority of Americans.

If you haven’t seen this clip of children who don’t even know what an apple, tomato, or potato is, you should watch it. I had NO idea it was this bad, that we as a culture were so completely divorced from food and its origins.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/26/jamie-olivers-food-revolu_n_478824.html

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Rebecca • March 15, 2010 at 1:26 pm

Dude, egg scrambles are your new best friend! Prepare it like others suggested above (olive oil, S &P), add in anything else you want in the scramble (tomatoes, black beans, onions, etc.) and then fold into your scrambled eggs. Cooks the chard first and the eggs second or in a separate pan and than combine. Divine. This is actually my mom’s best dish so I can’t take credit for it.

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Lyn • March 15, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Chard: easy and yummy! http://escapefromobesity.blogspot.com/2007/11/veggie-section-swiss-chard-and-248.html

Dill: like the dried herb. Chop up the fine stuff and marinate some fish it in. Or go to allrecipes and search for “dill” … you can even make your own pickles :)

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Esmeralda M Rupp-Spangle • March 15, 2010 at 1:49 pm

Lebanese stuffed chard is one of my favorite dishes in the universe. I can’t track down my favorite recipe variation online, and I’m not at home so I can’t copy ad verbatim from my cookbook- BUT:

howevermany chard leaves you have- remove as much stem as possible:
1 cup of rice (soaked in hot water for one hour)
1 tomato
1/2 cup of parsley, cilantro and mint mixed
1 table spoon of virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon of curry (cumin, or correander, or sometimes I say screw it and use sweet paprika! mmm!)
Salt and pepper to taste
Lemon juice & more olive oil

In a blender place the tomatoes that have been cut into small pieces. Pulse the tomatoes until they are completely mixed. Pour the tomatoes in a bowl.
Add in the rice, oil and seasonings.
Chop the parsley, coriander and mint and add to the rice mixture.

In a large pan of boiling water, place the leaves and leave for 30 seconds only. The leaves are very tender and should not be left long. Drain the leaves in a strainer and set aside.

On top of a large colander place the leaves, one by one. Separate the leaves very gently.

In a medium saucepan, place slices of potato OR tomato on the bottom of the pan. (this is to prevent the rolls from sticking- they’re also AMAZINGLY delicious)

With a large cutting board or tray begin the assembly. Spread open one leaf or two small ones together and in the middle place a small amount of the rice mixture. Starting at the top of the leaf, roll down over the rice mixture, folding in both sides, as in an envelope. Roll the leaf down to the very end and set inside the pan prepared with potatoes or tomatoes.

Keep rolling the Swiss chard until all the leaves are used up.
Boil some water and pour over the rolled Swiss chard leaves. Pour the water and lemon juice (in whatever concentration you like- I use QUITE A BIT) two inches above the leaves. Add in some salt, around 1 teaspoon and mix in the water. Place a lid or saucer (I use a heavy ceramic plate) over the leaves to hold them in place and then cover the pan with a tight lid.
Cook the Swiss chard leaves for 30 minutes. Check after 30 minutes to see if the rice is cooked and the leaves are tender. Drain the water off and serve on a platter with some lemon wedges

__________________________________________

For the stems-

I microwave them in a microwave steamer bag and then puree them with milk, tahini (sesame butter) crushed garlic, and olive oil, and make a “hummus-oid” side dish with the rolls. It takes ten minutes and can be done while the chard leaves are cooking. It’s GREAT with pita.

________________________________________________

For the dill fennoil? Just chop it fresh and put it on eggs with a little crumbled feta. They’re MADE for eachother

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Carbzilla • March 15, 2010 at 1:55 pm

I agree with everyone’s sauteeing instructions for the rainbow chard.

Looks like regular dill to me. I LOVE it in tuna salad – I’ll chop the whole bunch right in!

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Mymsie • March 15, 2010 at 2:20 pm

I ♥ dill! One of my favorite ways to have it is chopped up with tomato wedges and thinly-sliced cucumbers soaking in white balsamic vinegar and a touch of EVOO. YUM x 1000!! Even better if you let it soak in the fridge overnight.

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JEM • March 15, 2010 at 2:22 pm

I personally do not like the flavor of Dill that much but my parents so and she puts it in her chicken salad.

Basic Dill Chicken Salad:
- 2 cups cooked chicken, approximately 2 chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup mayonnaise
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion, chopped
- 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
- 1 tablespoon dillweed

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Sarah • March 15, 2010 at 3:10 pm

I love to take a salmon fillet, spray with olive oil and sprinkle dill on it and bake until cooked. Eat as is or with cucumber/greek yogurt dip :) mmmmm!

Or put the dill into a mashed potato bread. It was made to go together!!!!!!

i guess i really like dill though :)

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MB • March 15, 2010 at 3:21 pm

Sorry – I am no help ’cause I’ve never heard of either of those green leafy things but I look forward to hearing about how you licked these new produce finds.

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Thealogian • March 15, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Okay, you’re going to need some Bacon Fat, oh wait that completely defeats the purpose of eating Rainbow Chard in the first place. Seriously though, I went to Paula Dean’s restaurant two weeks ago in Savannah, GA on a business trip and apparently greens are the most delicious thing on earth if cooked with ham-hocks (sp?).

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Jenny • March 15, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I love chard, make sure to cut the very ends off, then wash it in a really big bowl of water so you dont get any grit.

Then sautee the stems first, then adding the chiffonaded leaves. I usually sautee with some onions and garlic, then add a splash of sherry, and some pomegranate molasses or preserved lemon for a bit of zing. If it seems bitter, add a little maple syrup.

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Rina • March 15, 2010 at 3:51 pm

My favorite way to cook chard is to saute it with garlic and a little bit of crushed red pepper – it compliments the bitterness of the greens very well.

Chop up the chard (1 ” strips as someone said above) and mince 3 cloves garlic. Heat a tablespoon of oil on medium heat in a frying pan (you’ll need a tight-fitting lid for it), add the garlic and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper and cook until the garlic is fragrant. Add the chard and 1/2 cup water. Let the chard wilt a bit and then put the lid on the pan. Let it cook until the water is almost gone, or about 7-10 min. You can add a bit more garlic or crushed red pepper if you want more kick.

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Marilyn • March 15, 2010 at 4:18 pm

Fenouil is the french name for dill:)

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SusanTW • March 15, 2010 at 4:19 pm

When the garden of a friend is overflowing with dill, I use it in potato salad. Dill really enhances the flavor.

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sundari • March 15, 2010 at 4:32 pm

I managed to comment on this on the other post about the delivery service. But do try those recipe ideas – they’re so delicious!

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Jessica Flemming • March 15, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Chard is really good steamed. It isn’t bitter at all, very mild. Barbara Kingsolver said in her book Animal Vegetable Miracle that Rainbow Chard would be the one seed she would keep and grow for the rest of her life if she had to only pick one. I didn’t know what chard was until I read that. Then I looked it up and now we all love it. Following is a recipe for chard gratin that we make for Thanksgiving. It has both chard and dill in the recipe. You could halve the recipe and still get about 3 meals out of it. It is delicious and even better the second day.

Bright Lights Chard Gratin
From Local Flavors By Deborah Madison

Serves 4 as a main dish; 6 as a side dish

Bright Lights or Rainbow Chard is the variety with multicolored stems that are often smaller and more tender than the big silver leaf or red-leafed chard. It works beautifully here because of those narrow stems, but any variety can be used, of course. Other greens can go in with the chard as well, such as quelites, nettles, sorrel, and spinach. Serve this gratin as a vegetarian main course or as a side dish.

2 pounds chard, including half of the stems
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1 onion, finely chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 cup fresh bread crumbs
1 garlic clove minced
3 tablespoons chopped dill or parsley
1 Tablespoon flour
1 cup milk or cream or a mixture of cream and stock
1 cup crumbled fresh goat cheese

1. Separate the leaves and chard stems. Wash the leaves in plenty of water, then coarsley chop them. Trim the ragged edges off the stems, wash them well, then dice into small pieces.

2. Melt half the butter in a wide skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has begun to brown a bit, about 20 minutes. Add the chard leaves, sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, and cook until they’re wilted and tender, another 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 and lightly oil a 2-quart gratin dish. Melt half the remaining butter in a small skillet and add the breadcrumbs, garlic and dill. Cook, stirring for about a minute, then scrape the crumbs in a bowl and return the pan to the heat.

4. Melt the last Tbsp of butter, stir in the flour, then whisk in the milk. Simmer for 5 minutes, season with 1/2 tsp salt and add to the chard mixture. Add the cheese, then taste the mixture, correct for salt, and season with pepper.

5. Pour the mixture into the prepared dish and cover with the breadcrumbs. Bake until heated through and golden on the surface, about 25 minutes. Let settle a few minutes before serving.

Jes’s notes. I really like it with dill, not parsley.

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Alyssa • March 15, 2010 at 5:16 pm

Hi PastaQueen,

I really love chard that’s been cut up and had the leafy parts removed-
I cook it by spreading tin foil on a baking sheet, laying the chard on it, and drizzling with extra virgin olive oil. Bake at ~350 for 5 minutes, and then sprinkle on lots of grated fresh parmesan cheese and bake for 5 more… delicious!

Alyssa

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Kristen • March 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Dude. Banana-Mango-Chard smoothie in your Vita-Mix. Or Banana-Cherry-Chard. Yum!

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Dinah Soar • March 15, 2010 at 5:53 pm

The chard you cook like any chard/green–similar to spinach . The dill is an herb..use it as you would any fresh savory seasoning…nice in a cream cheese spread, a biscuit or bread, to season green beans or egg salad.

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Online Publicist • March 15, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Here’s one I found for the chard that sounds pretty great: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sweet-and-Spicy-Swiss-Chard/Detail.aspx. I love that allrecipes.com has the ingredient search. Always saves me!

And fenouil? I thought it was ‘fennel’ in French! Is it Frenchy, fennel-like dill?

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Natalie • March 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm

Your rainbow chard doesn’t look very colourful – it is much brighter here! I have heard a story that it was grown for ages here in Australia and some American took it back and patented it. You thieving bastards! Not like us law-abiding Aussie folk.

Anyway, I have never tried it and have no idea how to cook it but….

Dill is a herb which goes very well with white fish. Try some lemon and capers too. And it’s good for the digestion.

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Missy • March 16, 2010 at 2:08 am

So I googled “Dill fenouil” and found nothing. So you either have dill (also known as fenouil batard (bastard fennel)

or you have fennel fronds, which are a lot like dill.

Either way, its not poisonous :)

I like a little dill mixed into my salad greens.

Its also good mixed in with any time of mayo/sour cream based salads/spreads/dips.

lay it on top of a piece of fish with some slices of lemon and grill/poach/bake it

It would probably also be tasty sauteed up with that chard.

Bacon would also be a nice addition to sauteed chard.. but bacon is a nice addition to just about everything.

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vivi • March 16, 2010 at 4:27 am

Salmon on dill sauce

The dill sauce you can make it mixing two tbsp of sour cream, dill and a 1 or 1/2 tsp of mustard (dijon). Bake the salmon in the oven, if you wish, marinate it first for like 15 minutes with vinegar, mustard and dill.

When it is done, add the sauce.

Delicious!

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Renee • March 16, 2010 at 7:23 am

One of the best books you need, to find tons of recipes for all the fresh produce your Fresh Farm Delivery people are sending you is Marion Morash’s Victory Garden Cookbook (Amazon used: $7).

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Deanna - The Unnatural Mother • March 16, 2010 at 7:34 am

You are too freaking funny! I laugh everytime I read a post. Sorry I can’t help ya with a recipe though..

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KC • March 16, 2010 at 7:45 am

i just cooked rainbow chard today! my favorite way is to melt a little bacon fat in a heavy frying pan and saute chopped garlic and the stems of the chard, sliced into smallish pieces. when garlic is fragrant and stems are slightly soft, toss the (well-washed) leaves, torn or cut into largish pieces, put the lid on the pan and let steam for 2-3 minutes until wilted. delicious!

For the dill, i get a large salmon filet (the kind that will serve several people or keep in the fridge when cooked so that you can have a few meals of cold salmon) and put skin-side down in a casserole or other oven appropriate pan (i usually use disposable foil pan). salt and pepper the fish and blanket with the dill… your fish should look moss-covered when you’re finished. then thinly slice a lemon or two and completely cover your fish with lemon slices. Bake for 10-12 minutes in a 400 degree oven. remove from oven and let rest, then remove the lemon and dill. serve hot or cold with more fresh lemon and perhaps that tzatziki that someone left a recipe for.

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RNegade • March 16, 2010 at 11:18 am

Mmmmmm…makes fabulous compost! (Mixed in with a little manure.) Wonderfully healthy for your roses and hibiscus garden!

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Bruce • March 16, 2010 at 1:13 pm

I agree with the others re the sauteeing of chard with olive oil and garlic. Sometimes I tear out the colourful “ribs”, chop, and steam them for a few minutes first if they’re large and getting tough, then drop them into the hot oil with the chopped up leafy bits and garlic. Sometimes I throw some onion in too. These are great with mashed potatoes.

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Shea • March 16, 2010 at 1:53 pm

Dill is great, mostly for adding dimension to otherwise light flavors, such as yogurty dips, cucumber salads, etc. The beauty is that you don’t have to use it all up- it freezes quite well.

Chard can be used in pretty much any hot dish where you’d use spinach. It’s a bit more on the bitter side, so a bit of acid (lemon, vinegar, etc, as some have recommended above) helps curb that a bit. If you don’t like the taste of it by itself, you can also do half chard, half spinach for a more mild taste.

Enjoy!

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Lauren • March 16, 2010 at 10:22 pm

Dill is amazing in tuna salad!

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Pam • March 17, 2010 at 8:16 am

The dill is great with lite sourcream, horseradish, bit of lemon and dill to accompany baked salmon.

Dill is also crucial to good Jewish Chicken Soup.

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Pam • March 17, 2010 at 8:17 am

ps – you can freeze leftover dill and use it in soups or stews. Layer it between paper towels and seal in a ziplock bag. Not as good as fresh, but not wasted either.

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Anne Kaufhold • March 17, 2010 at 6:31 pm

Coarsely chop the chard and sautee in olive oil with a bunch of minced garlic. Add 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke, and 1 tablespoon soy sauce when the leaves start looking good and wilty.

Fennel I can’t help you with. But if you want mine, I have a CSA box full too.

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RG • March 18, 2010 at 11:21 am

@Anne Kaufhold – I’m envious of your fennell (unless it’s really dill): I buy it at too-expensive prices to make this salad: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2006/10/special-game-fennel-salad.html

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Vanessa R • March 20, 2010 at 4:57 am

I keep wanting to try that Bright Lights Swiss Chard, but I never get around to it. I believe I won some free seeds for it, so perhaps I’ll grow some and have an adventure too.

As for dill, it’s good for pickles. It’s sometimes nice in egg or tuna salad. Otherwise it just gets fed to my guinea pig once in a while as a treat. I haven’t heard of the fenouil name before. I’ll have to to look it up now.

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Annie • March 23, 2010 at 8:48 pm

A salad that I make.
12 oz 1% low-fat cottage cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh dill
1 cup green onion
1 cup carrots
1 cup cucumber
1 cup celery
Chop green onions, celery, cucumbers and carrots into small pieces. Mix all ingredients and stir well.

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