Breaded Swiss Chard

For the past few years our Swiss chard has not thrived in the garden. This spring we planted Bright Lights variety in a different area of the yard and it has done amazingly well. Swiss chard is one of my favorite greens and this recipe, given to me by my Aunt Fran, is our favorite way to eat it. When you bread vegetables it gives them a meaty quality that is appealing to children (and adults); it is a great way to get everyone to eat their greens. You can also change up this recipe by chopping up the greens, mixing them with egg and breadcrumbs, and forming them into patties before frying.

12 large Swiss chard leaves
3 large eggs
salt and pepper
2-3 c. Italian-style breadcrumbs
2/3 c. canola oil
1/3 c. olive oil

Begin by washing the Swiss chard leaves well then cutting off the stem. Place leaves in a metal steaming basket in a 5-quart stockpot. Pour about 1 cup of water in the bottom and steam the chard leaves for 3-5 minutes until just barely softened but still holding their shape. Let chard drain in a colander. Beat the eggs with salt and pepper in a deep bowl. Sprinkle breadcrumbs into a pie plate. In a cast iron frying pan combine canola oil and olive oil and heat on medium heat until a bit of breadcrumb sizzles when added to the oil. Roll up each Swiss chard leaf like a cigar and dip each piece in egg, allowing the excess egg to drip off. Then roll in the breadcrumbs and fry in hot oil until golden – about 2 minutes. Turn over and fry 2 more minutes until golden. Transfer cooked chard to a paper towel-lined plate. Let drain 2 minutes. Best served hot. Serves 4.

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