Thursday, January 7, 2010

Rainbow Chard and White Asparagus with Panko Brown Butter

This winter I decided to try growing rainbow chard in the garden. It was kind of a funny choice because up to that point I’d never eaten any sort of chard and had no idea what to do with it. I came up with this recipe one night after finding some sweet little white asparagus at the local farmers market. The result was a good mix of healthy and comforting, being enough vegetable to make it feel like a good choice and enough panko crisped in brown butter to make it feel a little bit bad.

Rainbow Chard and White Asparagus with Panko Brown Butter

Several large leaves of chard (rainbow or swiss), roughly chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced (depending on how offensive you choose to feel!)
1 bunch white asparagus, hard bottoms trimmed off and sliced into large chunks
olive oil
about ½ cup panko bread crumbs
3 Tbsp butter 

Saute the chard in olive oil on medium heat for several minutes until it starts to wilt. Add minced garlic and asparagus and cook until all the vegetables are cooked through but not soggy. Remove from the pan and add butter. Let the butter foam up and cook. It will turn slightly brown and begin to have a nutty smell. Add the panko crumbs and toss for a few minutes until they begin to brown as well. Pour over the vegetables and serve.

The only real trouble I had with this recipe was when I decided to serve it with panko encrusted salmon. I should have known better – it was just too much panko for one meal.

Both tasted excellent but overpowered one another when sharing the plate. Next time I might go with some grilled shrimp or roasted chicken.

As far as the chard goes, I am definitely a fan, especially of the homegrown variety. It’s a fun thing to grow – like basil, you cut a leaf off and it makes the plant grow even more. It looks so pretty out in the garden, soaking up the sunlight.


Nate @ House of Annie said...

I love chard, especially rainbow chard. Try it in our Barley and Lentil Soup recipe.

Since you're using homegrown ingredients, would you like to enter this post into our Grow Your Own roundup? Full details at

Nova Walsh: said...

Barley and Lentil Soup looks fantastic! I'll definitely have to try it.

I'd love to participate in Grow Your Own - sounds really fun! Thanks for letting me know about it.

Shannon said...

This sounds amazing! I don't know much about chard, but I'm feeling inspired. :)