Creamed Chard with Green Onions
My fridge is usually a mess of my own making. I tend to go to the store for five things and return with twenty after oohing and ahhing my way through the aisles for an hour. So it was time to stage an intervention or Let Good Food Go To Waste, which as you all know, is an unforgivable offense.
So I did what I always do, which is throw some stuff together and see where it takes me, in this case, to a new version of creamed spinach, with chard and green onions. Except, I got the math a little wrong and ended up with too creamy greens (whoops!) and used some pasta and Parmesan to distribute the extra and lo and behold, I had made a most delicious lunch.
You can swap cream or half and half for all or a portion of the milk, if you want this to be extra lush. You could also stir in a few tablespoons of grated Parmesan.
1 one pound bunch Swiss chard, thick stems removed and leaves sliced into ribbons
3 green onions, ends trimmed, white and green parts sliced into thin pieces
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups milk
Salt and pepper
INSTRUCTIONS: Wash your chard, but no need to dry it, just place it in a large pot over high heat. Cook, covered, with just the water clinging to leaves, stirring occasionally, until wilted, about 6 minutes. Press or squeeze out the excess liquid any number of ways, either by wringing it out in cheesecloth (my favorite method), putting it in a mesh strainer and pressing the moisture out with a spatula or large spoon or letting it cool long enough to grab small handfuls and squeezing them to remove as much water as possible. Wipe out the large pot so you can use it again. Heat milk or cream in a small saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until warm. Keep warm. Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic, if using, in butter in your wiped-out large pot over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about six minutes. Whisk in flour and cook roux, whisking, about three minutes. Add warm milk or cream in a slow stream, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, and simmer, whisking, until thickened, three to four minutes. Stir in chard, then salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring, until heated through. To make Creamed Chard and Green Onion Pasta: Use 1 3/4 cups of milk instead of 1 1/4 cups. Stir 1/4 cup finely grated parmesan into the sauce while cooking, and keep extra on hand for serving. This should be enough to toss with about half a pound of pasta (more or less depending on how saucy you like yours).