Beet, Swiss Chard, and Garbanzo Bean Salad

At the New Eastern Market on Friday I was drawn to some grubby looking beets (they’re usually the best kind of beets). Then right beside them some giant green leaves – which could really be anything. They turned out to be Swiss Chard, something I’ve never really used before. We actually picked our own last fall but I was panicked by the unfamiliar ingredient and it got pushed to the back of the frig where it wilted and eventually got tossed. Disappointing to say the least. Even though this bunch wasn’t quite the same (nothing can be the joy of picking your own) I decided to give it a second try after finding success with kale. I cheated with kale because I bought the bagged stuff at Trader Joe’s but have since switched to the fresher, unprepared stuff. Anyway…

We happen to be going away for the weekend so I really had to use everything in the frig or waste it (again). What better way than to throw it all into a salad? I started with this recipe, but as usual deviated quite a bit.

Ingredients:

  • 4 Beets
  • 1 bunch of Swiss Chard, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 a can of garbanzo beans (about 1 cup), drained and rinsed
  • Olive oil
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, minced
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Sea Salt
  • Goat or Mozzarella Cheese (optional)

Step-by-step:

  1. Boil the beats for approximately half an hour, until fork tender. Let cool enough to enable you to peel the outer layer. Then to get a roasty flavor, add them to a skillet or grill for about 5 minutes.
  2. Put olive oil in pan and add the minced cloves of garlic.
  3. Add the Swiss Chard then cook for 3 to 5 minutes before adding the garbanzo beans. Cook another 3 to 5 minutes, until Swiss Chard is cooked through.
  4. Add sliced or chopped beets, then dress with red wine vinegar and sea salt.
  5. If you would like, you can top with any kind of cheese. We rarely have goat cheese on hand so I was going to add mozzarella before I realized we were out of that too! I think a nice, fresh Parmesan or feta could also lend a different flavor.

This was something very out of the box for us! We’ve made beets a few times before but combining them into a salad (a common thing for many other people) had never really occurred to us. In the fall when we get our own hands dirty picking our own beets we’ll have to remember this recipe! It came out great and was an alternative to romaine or spinach.

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