Swiss Chard Saag

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This weekend was awesome! I went to Larriland Pick-your-own Farm out in Maryland, and went apple picking, sipped hot apple cider, and I also got a chance to pick some spinach and swiss chard from the ground!  It was beautiful–a crisp, sunny Fall day.  And it felt so good to pick the vegetables from their source! I was so excited that I came home and went straight to the kitchen to prepare this Swiss Chard Saag. The recipe only took me about 10 minutes to make, maybe another 10 for prep. It is mild, creamy with a slight kick. I hope you enjoy!

This recipe makes about 4 servings.

You will need:

  • An Immersion Blender.  This is key to finishing up the dish quickly, with less cleanup. This is an essential kitchen item!
  • About 1 bunch of spinach, and 1 bunch of Swiss Chard
  • A handful or 1/4 cup of cashews (unsalted, toasted if so desired)
  • 1 medium tomato (cut into large chunks)
  • 1 medium onion (chopped)
  • 1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
  • Garam masala (a pinch)
  • Cumin seeds
  • Red chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 Indian green chilli (optional)

spinachDirections:

1. Thoroughly wash  the greens in a colander, especially if you got them from a garden or farm.  Take the stems off the swiss chard by ripping the leaves off the stem. They are pretty and red, but difficult to chew.

2. In a pot,  sauté the  chopped onion with a tsp of cumin seeds and optional 1 green chili (sliced).

3. Add ginger-garlic paste (or grated ginger and garlic). I tend to go a little heavy on this, but about 1 tsp should be more than enough!  At this point, you can also sprinkle a pinch of garam masala and some red chili powder to taste. My rule is to go easy on the chili initially, this recipe has tons of flavor from the ginger, garlic, and tomatoes.

4. Once the onions are golden, add in  half the tomatoes and the greens, breaking them with your hands. Stir well, sprinkle with salt, and cover for about a minute. If the greens are not fully wilted, stir and cover for some more time.

5. The greens should be nice and wilted, but still green. Add a little water and turn off the range. Blend the ingredients using your immersion blender, pulsing for about a few seconds at a time until it becomes smooth.

6. Separately, blend the cashews with half a cup of water. I used a magic bullet. The mixture should be blended completely so it becomes like a cream.

7. Cashew cream…mmmm….delicious! Add the cashew cream to the pot. Once I added the cream, the saag was much easier to blend. Be careful not to add too much water!

8. Bring the saag back to a simmer for 2-3 minutes more, adding the remaining tomatoes. Taste and season accordingly.

9. Plate, garnish, eat!

*Tastes great with rice, naan or any carb. If you are not vegan–a dollop of butter or ghee  at the end really puts this dish over the top.

Health Fact: Cooked spinach and swiss chard actually provides higher levels of Vitamin A than their raw counterparts!

Some of the beautiful fruits and veggies I bought from the farm. Stay tuned for future posts using these ingredients!

Some of the beautiful fruits and veggies I bought from the farm. Stay tuned for future posts using these ingredients!

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