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September 20, 2022. Swiss Chard. It’s starting to turn up everywhere again. It’s at the Farmers Markets everywhere. Probably in your CSA farm share, even in better grocery stores. It’s beautiful, flavorful and healthful. There’s an abundant supply right now, and prices are pretty low because, well, there’s still not huge demand for this under-appreciated leafy green.

Even right here at home. Where Kathy insists she really doesn’t like chard. She didn’t like kale, either, until we started making these addictive kale chips. So she was ready and willing to down a serving of pureed kale on mashed potatoes at a restaurant in San Francisco a few weeks ago. I thought, hey, I should make this when we get back to New York.

Where our weekly farm share included a gorgeous bunch of chard. No kale. Chard. Seemed to me it should be just as good as kale with mashed potatoes. So to give it a fair chance, I told Kathy it was kale.

Well, it was good. Really good. Kathy had seconds. Before I told her she was devouring chard. You probably don’t need to know about the conversation that followed. But you should know there’s a Way to get chard deniers to enjoy chard.

It’s beautiful and very delicious. And equally simple. Plus you get to play with your food. Mix it, swirl it or leave this simple puree of Swiss chard sitting on top of mashed potatoes. New and deeply tasty potatoes being dug now and turning up at Farmers Markets along with chard.

For 4 side servings. Or 2 huge servings that could be a vegetarian dinner.
6 cups of Swiss chard, de-stemmed and coarsely torn or chopped
1 tablespoon of olive oil
Salt to taste

1.5 pounds of potatoes
1 cup of milk
4 tablespoons of butter
Salt to taste

Swiss Chard Puree on Mashed Potatoes
So simple it’s barely a recipe. Drop the chard into a pot of boiling water for two minutes. Remove it and drain it in a colander under cold running water. When it’s cool, squeeze the excess water from the leaves. Finally give it a spin, with the olive oil, in your food processor or in a bowl with your mini-blender.

The six cups of leaves reduce to about a cup and a half of a fairly smooth and bright green puree. No butter, no milk, no cream. But the consistency of creamed spinach. With the deeper, darker flavor of chard.

Make it at the same time you make mashed potatoes and the complete dish will be ready in a little less than 30 minutes.

Pure, light, smooth puree of a rich-flavored dark green. Sitting on top of luscious, earthy mashed potatoes. Great alongside any meat, fish or poultry. Perfect all by itself. Because chard by any name would be a treat.

Cost-Benefit Analysis
$1.50 for a big, satisfying and complete vegetable side dish. $3 for a huge serving that’s a complete vegetarian meal. From the chard: 100% of your daily Vitamin A requirement; 50% of your Vitamin C; and, 2 weeks of Vitamin K for your bones. From the mashed potatoes: a lot of Vitamins B and C. Many, many minerals. Protein. Carbohydrates. More Vitamin A and a little dietary fat from the milk and butter.

Cost Comparison
Your fresh, organic, creamy-without-cream chard puree: 12 cents per ounce. Your rich, fresh organic mashed potatoes: 6 cents per ounce. Let’s compare: 35 cents per ounce for the jolly Green Giant frozen potatoes and green beans. Honest. Way more expensive for a frozen industrial agriculture product. Better is Cheaper once again.

Let’s Do The Math
36 minutes to walk off all 180 calories in the full-meal serving of Swiss Chard Puree on Mashed Potatoes. Really. 160 calories in an 8-ounce serving of mashed potatoes topped with 12 ounces of chard puree. C’mon, one more comparison: walk 70 minutes to burn all 380 calories in a 4-ounce serving of McDonald’s French Fries.

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