Wild Mushrooms & Swiss Chard

If you've been following my recipes at all, you're probably wondering, "Why all the Swiss Chard?" Before this year, I never cooked anything with chard in my life. Now, I think this is the third recipe I'm posting that contains chard. I don't really have an explanation other than I'm trying to make sure things that I'm growing don't go to waste and when opportunity knocks (vegetables are ready to be picked), you cook them, store them, preserve them, etc... I've chosen to cook when the chard is ready. 

The other reason I'm posting yet another recipe with chard is that I recently foraged for food in the woods and came home with some amazing wild mushrooms. I thought a nice pairing with wild mushrooms would be chard...and I was so right. This recipe would make a great side dish with meat and rice or cooked with pasta.

Mushroom storage tip: Store loose mushrooms in a paper bag in the fridge. They should last up to about a week. 

Not up to foraging in the wild for food? No worries - you can pair any mushroom you like with this. The Ringless Honey Mushrooms I used reminded me of shiitake mushrooms - those, oyster or cremini would be great substitutes. They had a kind of nutty flavor, which made it a good pairing with the chard. I just wouldn't use button mushrooms with this, but see what your local farmers markets are carrying and go from there.

This dish is so easy, I'll be honest, it hardly requires a "recipe," but, I'm posting it as a follow-up to my post, Finding Food in the Wild - Foraging, in case you find yourself with a bunch of mushrooms you're not sure what to do with. I worked with what I came home with from the woods and the chard that was in my garden, so the recipe actually makes more than what I made. You can cook this in any quantity/proportion you'd like. Just use the recipe below as a guide - flex your culinary muscle and change any portion/quantity you'd like.

Ingredients

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Yield: Serves 4-6

1 lb Ringless Honey Mushrooms (or any mushroom like shiitake, oyster or similar) 
1 bunch of Swiss Chard
3 TBSP butter
Kosher salt (to taste)

Directions

  1. Wash chard and trim the stems. Cut the stems into small pieces and fold leaves and cut roughly.
  2. Trim the stems from mushrooms and very roughly chop the mushrooms caps.
  3. Melt the butter over medium heat in a dutch oven or large heavy skillet (one with a lid).
  4. Add the chard to the pan and stir to coat the leaves with the butter. Cover for 1 minute or until the leaves begin to wilt.
  5. Add the mushrooms and stir to mix with the chard. 
  6. Cover and cook for about 15 minutes. Stirring frequently to prevent burning/sticking (about every 1 1/2-2 minutes).
  7. Add salt to taste.
  8. Remove from heat and serve.

Due to our current kitchen renovation, I had to cook this outside on the side burner of our 15-year old grill...in the dark. So please excuse the bad photo below, but I'm lucky I could muster up the desire to cook anything amidst all the dust in my house right now.

Cooking rustic style - outside on the grill burner....it's what you do during a kitchen renovation.

Cooking rustic style - outside on the grill burner....it's what you do during a kitchen renovation.

I'm Catherine, a small-space urban gardener in New Jersey (Zone 7a) who started gardening out of upcycled wooden wine boxes. For years, I wanted to try gardening, but didn't know where to start. I got up the nerve to give it a try - starting small with a single wooden wine box that turned an idea into reality. That reality quickly turned into my filling every sunny inch of space of my postage-stamp size lawn and turning it into a garden oasis. I grow mostly vegetables and herbs with some exception for fruits (when the squirrels and rabbits don't get to them first). I love learning from gardening communities (and lots of trial and error).

I hope one day to take all that I'm learning and apply it to a larger plot of land. To help me get there, I'm extending my learning through the University of Massachusetts, Stockbridge School of Agriculture's, Sustainable Food & Farming program. (I'm addicted to learning as much as I am to gardening.)

This blog isn't just for gardeners (although I hope it inspires some of you to try growing a plant or two). The recipes (food & cocktails) in theRecipes section of this blog contain ingredients that don't have to come from your own backyard. If you like visiting your local farmer's market(or even your grocery store) and would like to get some new recipes you can use with the fresh produce and herbs you get from your local growers, this blog will have plenty for you too.

In addition to gardening and cooking, I also love to visit and photograph my surroundings. I feel fortunate to have so many amazing places here in New York/New Jersey, where I live and work. Visits to local farms, farmer's markets, and cycling through rural farming areas help me feel connected and refreshed. share these experiences in theExploring section of the blog so that you might visit through proxy or be inspired enough to visit yourself. 

With very few exceptions, all of the photographs on this site are ones I have taken myself. (For the photographers out there, I shoot with a Canon 7D and sometimes with my Lumix  DMC-ZS15 compact camera.) 

I hope this blog inspires you to grow, create, explore, and try something new. The best way to stay up-to-date is to follow me using the social buttons above, or click Subscribe and sign up for my email newsletters.    

Happy Gardening and Healthful Living!

- Catherine