Thursday, September 22, 2011

Swiss Chard Salad with Crouton Overload

Have you been listening to the Joy the Baker Podcast? I certainly have been. Slightly obsessively. It is too entertaining for words, so check it out. Joy the Baker hosts the show with Tracy from Shutterbean, who both write killer food blogs.

Tracy recently posted a recipe for "Tuscan Kale Salad with Pecorino." As usual I didn't have exactly the right ingredients and this girl is way too lazy to go out and buy them so here is my version of Tracy's salad.

 This is the fancy salad spinner my sister gave me for my birthday. It is really nice to have dry greens when you need them. I hear you laughing, but dry lettuce is highly under-appreciated.

 One of the few times I've busted out the mortar and pestle. This salad will be my justification for keeping it over the next year. You see, my husband is the ultimate organizer and systematically rids our home of "extraneous" items. You should have seen him cringe at the size of the salad spinner!

 This salad was very flavorful. So much so that in my version of the recipe, I added more greens and more bread. But I have a wimpy tongue, so adjust the amounts to your liking.

Let's talk about this New York plate I got at Target. I'm not sure why they make New York plates and sell them in Hawaii, but for a girl who is obsessed with this city it was a natural choice. I'm planning a trip to the city next summer so it will likely be a long year of pining.

Oh yeah, we were talking about salad. The reason I used so much bread for this salad was because we are little piggies at this house and needed a little more substance in order to make it a stand-alone meal. If you are serving it as a side dish, maybe go easy on the bread and only use half a roll or 1 slice of bread.

Swiss Chard Salad with Crouton Overload 
from Shutterbean

6-7 cups Swiss Chard, stems removed and sliced into ribbons
1 roll sliced and toasted (I used a ciabatta roll but use whatever you gots)
1 garlic clove
1/4 tsp or so kosher or sea salt
1/4 cup grated comte cheese
3 TBL olive oil
juice of 1 fresh lemon
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
cracked black pepper

Using a mortar and pestle, smash the garlic clove with the salt until it forms a paste.
In a large bowl, whisk together your dressing ingredients: garlic paste, cheese, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper and pepper flakes.
Toast your roll and throw into the food processor, tearing it in chunks, for a few pulses to get irregular shaped "croutons."
Add the chard to the bowl with the dressing and toss well. Allow to sit and soak up flavors for about 5 minutes.
Put it on a plate and dump those croutons on top. Add a little extra cheese if desired.

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