Creamy Chard with Bacon and Mushrooms / by Alex Boake

Thanks so much to Organic Meadow for featuring my previous post on their Facebook page! Here's a recipe I came up with that makes more creative use of their organic cream. It also was a fantastic way for me to use the bounty of Swiss Chard that my Dad and sister harvested from their farming efforts this season. Of course, this is an illustration blog, so here's an image I whipped up to get your appetite going for this dish.

Creamy Chard with Mushrooms and Bacon

Creamy Chard with Bacon and Mushrooms Serves 4 as a side. 

Ingredients

  • 8 strips of Bacon
  • 5 loose cups of Swiss Chard, chopped, with large veins removed
  • 2 cups of mixed Mushrooms, quartered or sliced
  • 2 Shallots or Onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup Organic Half and Half Cream
  • Italian Blend Seasoning, to taste—I use Kirkland Rustic Tuscan, which has no salt or additives
  • Pepper, to taste

This recipe is great with Mushrooms such as Chantrelles, King, or Portabello—but White Mushrooms will also do! You'll want to use a very large pan to cook this in order to accommodate the volume of the Chard before it begins to wilt. If buying your Chard from the grocery store one large bunch should be enough for this recipe. As for the seasoning, if you don't have a pre-mixed blend available, a combination of basil, oregano and pinch of red pepper flakes would do!

Directions

Cook the Bacon in a large, deep pan until well done, but not too crispy. Remove Bacon from pan and set aside in a small bowl. In same pan, using the Bacon grease, cook the Shallots over medium-high heat until translucent. When translucent, add the Mushrooms and continue to cook until the Mushrooms are soft. While the Mushrooms are cooking, cut the Bacon into small pieces. Season the Mushrooms and Shallots with spices and pepper, then set aside with Bacon.

Reducing heat slightly, add the chopped Swiss Chard to your pan. Season generously with spices and pepper. As it begins to wilt, gradually add the Cream, and increase the heat. Continue to add the Cream, and alternate with Parmesan Cheese until the dish is melted and creamy, and the Chard is fully wilted. You may use more or less Cream and Cheese, depending on your taste—I always err on the side of cheesiness! When the Cheese is melted, return the Bacon, Mushrooms and Shallots to the pan to heat everything together.

Divide into 4 portions, plate and serve. Enjoy!

Here's a quick snap of this dish—also serving as proof of why I'm an illustrator and not a photographer!