|This tasty Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake will help you eat your greens.|
Many of my food preferences have changed since I've been writing this blog, and one good change is the way I've developed such an appreciation for greens. I confess that before I started growing them in my garden, I never cooked much with Red Russian Kale, dark green curly kale, or Swiss chard. Now these uber-healthful greens have turned into something I love experimenting with every year when the garden is producing them like crazy. I've made a few different breakfast dishes with greens baked into the eggs, but this Swiss Chard and Goat Cheese Custard Bake is a bit different, with a generous amount of goat cheese (the soft type that comes in a log) combined with milk and then mixed into just enough eggs to bind it together into a barely-firm custard. I loved the flavor combination with the Swiss chard, goat cheese, and other cheeses, and although you could certainly eat this for breakfast I've been eating it for a light dinner for the last couple of days.
This recipe was inspired by one I saw in Greene on Greens, a vegetable cookbook I bought used on Amazon.com for a few dollars after my nephew Jake recommended it. The book was first printed in 1984, and tastes have changed a bit since then. I lightened up the recipe quite a bit, switching olive oil for butter, using milk instead of heavy cream, and using lower-fat cheeses. I also left out the bread crumbs so I could eat this for phase one. Even with those changes this was creamy and delicious, something I'd eat a small slice of paired with something light on the side.
If you're using chard from the garden, give then a good wash in a salad spinner after you've chopped them and spin until they're very dry.
Then add the chopped Swiss chard all at once and use a large turner to keep turning it until all the chard has wilted.
Cook the chard a couple of minutes, just until it's wilted down like this; it will finish cooking in the oven. Turn off heat and let the chard cool a little.
I used the bowl attachment of the immersion blender to mix the milk and goat cheese, but you could let the cheese soften on the counter and mix it by hand.
Pour the mixture into a round casserole dish that you've sprayed with olive oil or nonstick spray., and sprinkle the coarse ground Parmesan over the top.
(Makes 6-8 servings, recipe inspired by Green Timbale in Greene on Greens.)
12 oz. Swiss chard leaves, chopped
1 T olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 oz. goat cheese (Use the soft goat cheese that comes in a log)
1/2 cup milk (I used 2% but lower fat would also work)
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated mozzarella or other low-fat mild cheese
2 T + 2 T grated Parmesan (preferably freshly grated)
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Remove swiss chard stems and save for another use. Pile up the swiss chard leaves in a stack and slice in 1/2 inch slices one way, then turn the cutting board and slice the other way to make chopped pieces of chard. (You will probably have to do this in a couple of batches.) If needed wash the chopped chard in a salad spinner and spin until it's very dry. Chop the onion into pieces about 1/4 inch.
Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan (big enough to hold all the Swiss chard.) Add onion and saute 4-5 minutes on medium-high heat, just until the onions are barely starting to brown. Then add Swiss chard, all at once. Use a large turner to turn the chard as it cooks until it's all wilted, about 2-3 minutes. Turn off heat and let the chard cool slightly.
Combine the milk and goat cheese. (I did this with the bowl attachment of an immersion blender, but you can let the cheese soften and stir it together by hand.) In a large bowl, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are all combined, then season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste. Stir the milk/goat cheese mixture into the eggs and then add the mozzarella and two tablespoons of the Parmesan. Add the chard and onions and stir so it's well distributed in the egg mixture.
Spray a round casserole dish or springform pan with olive oil or nonstick spray. (Use a pan that's 8 or 9 inches in diameter.) Put the egg/chard mixture into the pan and top with the other two tablespoons of Parmesan. Bake for one hour, or until the mixture is fully set and lightly browned on top.
Serve hot for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or a light dinner. This will keep for several days in the fridge and can be reheated for a minute or two in a microwave.
South Beach Suggestions:
With a generous amount of leafy greens and using low-fat goat cheese, milk, and mozzarella, this recipe would be a good choice for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one I would limit portion size to a small slice of this with something something light on the side like Ottolenghi's Perfect Lettuce Salad, Chopped Greek Salad, or just some browned turkey breakfast sausage, depending on what time of day it was.
Ten More Tasty Ideas with Swiss Chard:
(Recipes from other blogs may not be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Baked Swiss Chard Stems with Olive Oil and Parmesan from Kalyn's Kitchen
Spicy Asian Stir-Fried Swiss Chard from Kalyn's Kitchen
Swiss Chard and Mushroom Squares from Kalyn's Kitchen
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Garlic, Chard, and Pecorino-Romano Cheese from Kalyn's KitchenSpaghetti Squash and Chard Gratin from Kalyn's Kitchen
Swiss Chard with Olives from Simply Recipes
Swiss Chard, Potato, and Parmesan Frittata from Food Blogga
Oven-Roasted Swiss Chard from Leite's Culinaria
Hot Swiss Chard Artichoke Dip from Farmgirl Fare
Swiss Chard Chips from Macheesmo
(I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)