Farmers Market Report: Texas Worm Ranch's Swiss Chard
Swiss chard from the Texas Worm Ranch
I hope you didn't miss the farmers markets this weekend. While this year's season is still in its infancy, plenty of beautiful vegetables are sprouting at nearby farms. Greens are king right now, and this Swiss chard is a great example of garden fresh produce that beats anything you can find at the store.
The Texas Worm Ranch is a regular participant at the White Rock Local Market, and while they're mostly known for their "tea," a potent brew made from worm castings for fertilization and pest control, they're also doing a little gardening themselves. These greens were offered for $3 a bundle, but I was offered two bundles for five -- a more than fair price.
A sofrito of Swiss chard stems smell delicious, and looks festive, too.
With greens this beautiful, I scoured the Internet looking for a new recipe that would help maximize every bit of the plant, stems and all, and Joe Yonan at the Washington Post has the perfect technique. Mincing the stems and sauteing them in olive oil with garlic, onions and a small handful of almonds I mashed up in a molcajete, produces a hearty flavor base to cook the tender leaves of young Swiss chard. The colorful stems produce a sofrito that look like confetti, and seasoned with a little sherry vinegar, the whole dish really sings.
To keep things super local I served the greens on toasted sourdough from Empire Bakery, topped the open faced sandwich with a perfect poached egg from Juha Ranch and garnished it all with a little parsley from the Live Oak Public Garden. It doesn't get much more local than this -- and I can't see it getting much more delicious either.
A poached egg brings everything together.
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