One of the most exciting things about being a regular food blogger is that it has the potential to open up a whole world of ingredients that you never before knew existed. Of course, the word ‘chard’ has always been a member of our vernacular, but it’s never been clear to me quite how many varieties of it there are. Happily, such variety ensures that gastronomic inspiration is unlikely ever to go wanting, especially since one can always fall back on one’s ability to invent, adapt and experiment. One has only to wander into one’s local butcher or green grocer to fully appreciate the diversity of even the most local of produce. For instance, this morning I discovered a green grocer I had never before visited and before I’d even had time to take stock of my delicious surroundings several new recipes had forcibly entered my grey matter. However, it should go down on record that they were extremely welcome and particularly frugal guests.
Chard salad seems to be a dish only rarely attempted, which is a real shame because it possesses an exceptionally delightful body and flavour. Indeed, its texture has an incredibly satisfactory bite and comes across as exceedingly hearty – a trait which many salads lack. Please do not even attempt to bring a hunk of bread or even cheese near this salad; I wasn’t joking about its bite.
Though chard is an ingredient usually used in Mediterranean cuisine, it is readily available in Britain even in November. Indeed, I had no trouble finding locally produced chard in the aforementioned green grocer and a different variety will soon be making its way here very soon! I think you’d be surprised about what is available locally in your area, wherever you live – one simply has to look in the right places. For instance, city farms are a more frequent occurrence than you may be aware of – there are two in Bristol! Get out there and enjoy what your own soil has to offer and do it frugally!
Swiss Chard Salad
• Large bunch of Swiss chard
• ½ a small red onion
• 1 red chilli, finely chopped
• 1 tbsp cider vinegar
• 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• A little salt and pepper
1. Slice your Swiss chard into ribbons roughly 1cm thick. Mix everything else separately and then bring together in a large mixing bowl. It’s as simple as that, but make sure the dressing covers every single strand!
Cost: This is one delicious salad and chard is available at a very reasonable price. The entire bowl full of salad which is easily enough for four should set one back no more than £1.50 – an absolute steal!