CSA Week Eighteen:: Fennel

fennel-458x326

Fennel?  Another one of those oddly shaped crops that may leave you bewildered.  But take a quick look at all the health benefits it brings and you’ll be trying to find ways to work it into your diet.  Fennel belongs to the Umbellifereae family and is therefore closely related to parsley, carrots, dill and coriander.  Fennel plays an important role in the food culture of many European nations, especially in France and Italy.  Its reputation dates back to the earliest times and is reflected in its mythological traditions. Greek myths state that fennel was not only closely associated with Dionysus, the Greek god of food and wine, but that a fennel stalk carried the coal that passed down knowledge from the gods to men.  Fennels aroma and taste are unique, reminiscent of licorice and anise, so much so that fennel is often mistakenly referred to as anise in the marketplace, but don’t let an aversion to black jelly beans keep you away from fennel, whether braised, sautéed, roasted, or grilled, the bulb mellows and softens with cooking.

This strange plant  has an abundance of medicinal uses and health benefits. In fact, fennel, is a major digestive powerhouse.

Some of the components of the essential oils in fennel are stimulants and they stimulate secretion of digestive and gastric juices, while reducing inflammation of the stomach and intestines, and facilitating proper absorption of nutrients from food. It can eliminate constipation and thereby protect the body from a wide range of intestinal troubles that can stem from being “blocked up”.   Fennel is very popular as an antiflatulent, due to the carminative properties of the aspartic acid found in fennel. Its extract can be used by everyone, from infants to the elderly, as a way to reduce flatulence and to expel excess gas from the stomach.  Fennel is helpful in curing diarrhea if it is caused by bacterial infection, because some components of the essential oil in fennel such as anetol and cineole have disinfectant and antibacterial properties. Its amino acids, aid in digestion and the proper functioning of the digestive system, thereby helping to eliminate diarrhea due to indigestion. Fennel has long been used by indigenous cultures as a way to eliminate diarrhea.

The iron and histidine in fennel are also helpful in treating anemia. Whereas iron is the chief constituent of hemoglobin, histidine stimulates production of hemoglobin and also helps in the formation of various other components of the blood. Fennel is a great source of fiber, as mentioned above, but besides the advantages to digestion that fiber provides, it also helps to maintain healthy levels of cholesterol in the blood stream. This means that it can stimulate the elimination damaging LDL cholesterol, which is a major factor in heart disease and strokes.  Fennel is a rich source of potassium, which is an essential nutrient in our bodies and is vital for a number of important processes. One of the benefits of potassium is its quality as a vasodilator, which means that it relaxes the tension of blood vessels, thereby reducing blood pressure. High blood pressure is connected to a wide range of health issues, including heart attack and stroke.  Also, for diabetic patients, blood pressure issues can make management of their insulin and glucose levels very difficult, and can be the cause of many potentially lethal complications. A cup of fennel bulb in your daily diet will pump you full of potassium and all the benefits that come along with it.

And women, read on….fennel is also an emmenagogue, meaning that it eases and regulates menstruation by properly regulating hormonal action in the body. Fennel is used in a number of products to reduce the effects of PMS, and it is also used traditionally as a soothing pain reliever and relaxing agent for menopausal women.   Fennel also increases production and secretion of milk in lactating mothers and since this milk contains some properties of fennel, it is an anti-flatulent for the baby as well.  Fennel is an herb that has also been used for breast enlargement and to increase libido.

Fennel is useful in respiratory disorders such congestion, bronchitis, and cough due to the presence of Cineole and Anetol which are expectorant in nature, among their many other virtues. Fennel seeds and powder can help to break up phlegm and prompt loosening of the toxins and buildup of the throat and nasal passages for elimination from the body and quicker recovery from respiratory conditions.

Fennel is diuretic, which means that it increases the amount and frequency of urination, thereby helping the removal of toxic substances from the body and helping in rheumatism and swelling.

Finally, the juice of fennel leaves and the plant itself can be externally applied on the eyes to reduce irritation and eye fatigue

Wow!!


PREP TIME:  Remove the foliage by snipping an inch or two above the bulb. Place fennel in a produce bag to prevent moisture loss, and store it in the vegetable bin of your refrigerator for three or four days.  The three different parts of fennel—the base, stalks and leaves—can all be used in cooking. Cut the stalks away from the bulb at the place where they meet. If you are not going to be using the intact bulb in a recipe, then first cut it in half, remove the base, and then rinse it with water before proceeding to cut it further. Fennel can be cut in a variety of sizes and shapes, depending upon the recipe and your personal preference. The best way to slice it is to do so vertically through the bulb. If your recipe requires chunked, diced or julienned fennel, it is best to first remove the harder core that resides in the center before cutting it. The stalks of the fennel can be used for soups, stocks and stews, while the leaves can be used as an herb seasoning.


SUGGESTED USES:

Sliced crisp fennel is delicious served raw in salads.

Sautéed fennel and onions make a wonderful side dish,

Combine sliced fennel with avocados, and oranges for a delightful salad.

Braised fennel is a wonderful complement to scallops.

Top thinly sliced fennel with plain yogurt and mint leaves.

Fennel is a match made in Heaven when served with salmon.


Fennel and Celery Salad

2 medium fennel bulbs, trimmed, some fronds reserved
3 celery ribs, trimmed
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, more to taste
Salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
freshly shaved Parmesan cheese.

Cut fennel bulbs in quarters lengthwise, discarding outer layer if it is exceedingly tough. Use a mandoline or slice quarters thinly; slice celery equally thin.  Put sliced fennel and celery into a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper and toss gently to combine. Top with lots of freshly shaved Parmesan and chopped fennel fronds if you like.

 

Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Fennel and Garlic

6 garlic cloves, peeled
1-2 fennel bulbs, fronds and stalks removed, bulbs cored and cut into eighths
2 tablespoons olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
pork tenderloin (about 1 pound)
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

Preheat oven to 475. On a large rimmed baking sheet, toss garlic, fennel, and 1 tablespoon oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast 10 minutes.  Rub pork with remaining tablespoon oil; season with oregano, salt, and pepper. Remove baking sheet from oven, and push fennel and garlic to sides of sheet. Place pork in center, and roast 20 to 25 minutes, until an instant-read thermometer inserted in thickest part registers 145.  Transfer pork to a cutting board, and let rest at least 5 minutes before thinly slicing. Serve pork with fennel and garlic.


 MORE RECIPES:   Fennel in Wine and Honey, Pan Seared Scallops With Fettuccine in Bacon Fennel Cream Sauce, Roasted Chicken Sausages with Brussel Sprouts, Fennel and Potatoes, Braised Fennel and White Beans, Baked Fennel with Parmesan and Thyme, Shaved Fennel Salad, Roasted Fennel and Butternut Squash Soup, Sauteed Chicken Breasts with Fennel and Rosemary, Caramelized Fennel, Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup, Fennel and Smoked Salmon Salad

 

 

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CSA Week Ten : Basil

basilBasil is one herb you want to use or store within a week.  Because the oils in the leaves are the source of that wonderful aroma and taste, drying basil is not recommended.  When using it in cooking you want to add it at the last-minute so the flavor isn’t diminished.  You can keep your basil fresh in a bag in the refrigerator for a period up to a week, or for a longer period in the freezer, after being blanched quickly in boiling water.

The word basil comes from the Greek word,  basileus, meaning “king”, as it has come to be associated with the Feast of the Cross commemorating the finding of the True Cross by St Helena mother of the emperor St. Constantine.  Many cooks consider basil “king” of the herbs.

Personally, I place my extra leaves in olive oil and store them in the refrigerator for short-term use, or the freezer for a period of months.  You can also store basil leaves layered in coarse salt which gives the salt which can be used at a later time a unique flavor.  Just be sure to keep an eye on your containers in a cool dry place to avoid spoilage or botulism.


The most common way to use basil is in pesto which is easy to make and has a myriad of uses.  A simple basil pesto recipe is as follows:

  • 3 cloves garlic, peel removed
  • 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts (you can use walnuts or almonds as well)
  • 2 ounces fresh basil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

Place the peeled garlic cloves and toasted pine nuts in a food processor, and process for about 30 seconds until it’s well pureed and almost pastey.

Strip off the leaves from the basil stems, and add the leaves only to the food processor, and pulse it in until the basil is chopped up.

Add a pinch of salt and pepper to the mixture. With the food processor running, pour in the olive oil, and once it’s incorporated, stop the food processor. Add the parmesan cheese, and pulse it in a couple of times until incorporated.

Do a final taste of the pesto and decide if it might need more salt or pepper.


PESTO RECIPES: Roasted Garlic and Pesto Chicken Flatbreads, Pesto Grilled Shrimp, Pesto Lemon Rice, Pesto Potato Skillet, Braided Pesto Bread, Pesto Risotto

 

 

 

CSA Week Eight : Lemon Balm

c6d6a10afc76ca3497a6a77c00ea079cOne of the first herbs my Aunt Pat (a wonderful gardener, cook and herbalist) gave me was lemon balm.  It’s one of those herbs that is gorgeous, easy to grow, prolific, has multitudes of uses and smells great to boot.  Lemon balm is a member of the mint family (hence it’s prolific growth) and is a perennial, one of those wonderful herbs that you only have to plant once.  Lemon Balm’s botanical name, “Melissa”, is Greek for “bee” which is why it can also be commonly called bee balm.  In fact, in the 16th Century, Lemon Balm was rubbed onto beehives to encourage the bees to produce honey.

Lemon Balm was used as far back as the Middle Ages to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort from indigestion (including gas and bloating, as well as colic). Even before the Middle Ages, lemon balm was steeped in wine to lift the spirits, help heal wounds, and treat venomous insect bites and stings. Today, lemon balm is often combined with other calming, soothing herbs, such as valerian, chamomile, and hops, to help promote relaxation.

Lemon balm is used for digestive problems, including upset stomach, bloating, intestinal gas, vomiting, and colic; for pain, including menstrual cramps, headache and toothache; and for depression, anxiety and sleeplessness.

Lemon balm has also been suggested to be helpful in the treatment of  Alzheimer’s disease,  attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Graves’ disease, rapid heartbeat due to nervousness, high blood pressure,cold sores, tumors, and insect bites.

You can steep lemon balm in hot water for a calming bedtime tea, chew or pound the leaves and apply as a poultice for stings, and of course use it in any number of culinary and beverage choices.  Here are a few to get you started.


SUMMERTIME COOLER WITH LEMON BALM

6 cups fresh or reconstituted frozen orange juice
1 – 46-ounce can pineapple juice
¼ – ½ cup sugar, depending upon sweetness of fruit juices
2-3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice to brighten flavor
Fresh branches of lemon balm, lemon basil, and a mild spearmint to fill container halfway. No woody branches should be used.

Combine orange and pineapple juices, along with sugar in a non-reactive (glass or plastic) container fitted with a lid; stir until sugar is dissolved. Add lemon juice to brighten flavor and adjust sugar if needed.

Bruise branches of herbs by twisting to release essential oils. Add herbs to container of juices, packing in as much as possible but making sure herbs are covered with liquid.

Cover container and refrigerate overnight, to allow juice to become flavored. Strain juices, pressing out as much liquid as possible from  herbs. Check for sweetness and serve over ice. Crushed ice may be pureed with juice to create a lemony “smoothie.


LEMON BALM SCONES

Makes about 2 dozen scones

2¼ cups unbleached white flour
2 teaspoons sugar
¾ teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons freshly chopped lemon balm
1½ teaspoons lemon zest, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl and blend thoroughly. Cut in the butter until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.
Stir the buttermilk and cream together with the lemon balm and zest. Add the liquid to the dry ingredients and stir to form a soft dough.

Turn the dough onto a floured pastry marble or board, knead gently until it just comes together, and roll out to ½-inch thickness. Cut the dough with 1¾- or 2-inch cookie cutter and place on an ungreased
baking sheet.

Bake the scones for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove to baking rack to cool slightly before serving. The scones are best served warm and right after baking. If you want to prepare them in
advance, cool them completely and store them in an airtight container. Wrap them in foil and gently reheat them in a 325°F oven for about 10 to 15 minutes.


LEMON BALM HONEY

Use  to  flavor hot or cold tea, sweet scones, pastries, fresh fruit or try it drizzled over vanilla ice cream.

1½ cup honey
¼ cup hard packed, fresh lemon balm leaves
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 strip of lemon peel
10 whole allspice
10 whole cloves

Heat honey in a small saucepan until very warm. Place remaining ingredients in a large, clean glass jar and pour warm honey over. Stir, cover and set aside for 2 days at room temperature.


MORE LEMON BALM RECIPES:  Beekeeper’s Balm Cocktail, Lemon Balm Cookies,  Rhubarb Lemon Balm Margarita, Lemon Balm Pesto, Lemon Balm and Parsley Spaghetti,  Roasted Lemon Balm Chicken,  Honey Lemon Balm Sore Throat Candy Drops, Double Lemon Tea Bread, Assorted Lemon Balm Teas


 

 

CSA Week Five :: Bits and Bobs

Since we aren’t particularly focusing on one crop this week, I though I would just write a little bit about what is going on in my kitchen with our crops.

Green Curly Kale. Image shot 2008. Exact date unknown.

Right now we are seeing curly leaf kale added into our mix, and don’t you love it? The flat leaf kale is easy to fold over and slice out the stem if you don’t care for it, but the curly leaf is even easier. Just run your fingers down the stem and watch all the leaf fall away around you. My kale gets a wash and then a chop up and goes straight to the freezer. I would hope that some of you have tried the recipes I’ve shared here of the kale variety, but the truth is mine never makes it to the pan. I like my fruit and greens smoothies in the morning and these kale bits make for a healthy start. The best thing is that if you properly dry the kale leaves with paper towel or a dish towel, you can simple pop the chopped leaves into a bread or English muffin wrapper and tie it off to pull out later. Great way to reuse those bags!

The herbs have arrived.  Dill and cilantro are making an appearance.  I love the dill with the beans we’ve been getting.   If you aren’t using your herbs right away you can always save them for later.  There are a couple of ways to do this.  If you think you are going to use them the same week, place them in a baggie or small container with a bit of paper towel and set in the refrigerator.  I put mine in the butter compartment so they don’t get lost.  The bit of paper will help soak up any moisture that remains.  If you want to save them a little longer term, you have a couple of options.

You can air dry your herbs, choosing bunches with only about 5-10 stems each, this allows for air circulation.  Remove the lower leaves and tie together, hanging them somewhere in the house that is warm, dry and dark.  Ideally you would like the temperature to be around 68 degrees.   The herbs can hang anywhere from 1-3 weeks, you can check them by rubbing a bit to see if they are dry and crumbly.  Once dried you want to remove the stems and woody pieces and  store the leaves in spice jars or recycled bottles.  (It’s all about recycling here too).

herb_cube

The other method is to freeze the herbs.  This method is good for softer herbs  such as basil, tarragon, parsley and chives.  Just like my kale, you can wash and pat dry your herb leaves and place them in a bag in the freezer.  These should last about three months.  If you want a little longer lasting herb, you can blanch your herbs in hot water, move straight to ice-cold water, pat dry and store for up to six months.  The truth is, herbs don’t last that long around here, and really do you want to blanch and ice that many?  I guess if you had a bumper crop!  The last freezer method (and my favorite) is to freeze one-third chopped herbs to two-thirds water and freeze in ice-cube trays.  Pop out the cubes once frozen and store them in the freezer.  Basil and olive oil works well with this method!

Lastly, don’t forget all these green tops you are getting are edible.  Radish greens, carrot greens, beet greens.  If you have rabbits, my goodness, they would love these treats, but we lost ours last  year and so now we are looking at ways to incorporate our tops into our meals.  Add them to salads, sautéed vegetables or soups, or just about any green tops can make a pesto for sauces and soups.  All you need for pesto is a bit of oil, a bit of nuts and perhaps lemon, garlic or parmesan.  Here are a few ideas….carrot top pesto, radish greens pesto and an all-purpose collection of recipes for all three crops and their tops at White on Rice.

That’s it for this week.  More crops next week friends!

 

 

 

Week Two CSA: Parsley and Swiss Chard

parsley PARSLEY:  Parsley is an excellent source of vitamin K and vitamin C as well as a good source of vitamin A, folate, and iron.  Parsley is also good for digestion. As with other bitter herbs, parsley stimulates appetite and your digestive tract.  Parsley keeps your immune system strong, tones your bones and heals the nervous system, too.  It helps flush out excess fluid from the body, thus supporting kidney function. However, the herb contains oxalates, which can cause problems for those with existing kidney and gall bladder problems.  Regular use of parsley can help control your blood pressure.  The folic acid in this herb is like a tonic for your heart.  Use parsley daily, and you’ll feel relief from joint pain, that’s because the herb has anti-inflammatory properties. Parsley tea relaxes stiff muscles and encourages digestion.   Parsley tea proved useful in the trenches (WWI), when our men got kidney complications. Parsley was reputed to have sprung from the blood of the Greek heroArchemorus, the forerunner of death.  There is an old superstition against transplanting parsley plants.  The herb is said to be dedicated to Persephone and to funeral rites by the Greeks.


PREP TIME:  Fresh parsley should be washed right before using since it is highly fragile. The best way to clean it is just like you would spinach. Place it in a bowl of cold water and swish it around with your hands. This will allow any sand or dirt to dislodge. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill it with clean water and repeat this process until no dirt remains in the water.  Fresh parsley should be kept in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. If the parsley is slightly wilted, either sprinkle it lightly with some water or wash it without completely drying it before storing in the refrigerator.


PARSLEY RECIPES:  Parsley is so much more than a garnish on your plate.

 

CHIMICHURRI SAUCE
{courtesy of Gimme Some Oven}chimichurri-sauce
1 cup fresh (flat-leaf) parsley leaves, tightly packed
2 Tbsp. fresh oregano leaves, tightly packed
3 cloves of garlic
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp freshly-ground black pepper
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ cup good-quality olive oil

Place all ingredients in food processor except for the olive oil. Pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a jar or bowl, and whisk in olive oil until combined. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to one week.

**Pairs well with steak, chicken fish or seafood.

 

SAFFRON CHICKEN WITH PARSLEY AND LEMON
{courtesy of Kalyn’s Kitchen}
2 boneless, skinless chicken breastssaffron-chicken-7-kalynskitchen
1 large or 2 small onions, cut in lengthwise slivers (this is a little more onions than original recipe)1 T olive oil
1 tsp. butter (optional, but it adds a lot of flavor)
pinch saffron (about 1/4 tsp. or less)
3/4 cup chicken stock (this is a little more chicken stock than original recipe)
1 1/2 T fresh lemon juice (this is a little more lemon than original recipe)
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Trim all visible fat and tendons from chicken breasts and cut in 1/2 strips on the diagonal to make small cutlets.  Peel the onions and cut into lengthwise slivers and chop parsley. Use a heavy frying pan which is not too large and has a tight-fitting lid.  Heat the olive oil and butter, then brown the chicken quickly over medium-high heat.  (Don’t let it cook long enough that the outside starts to get hard.  The chicken does not need to be cooked through.) Remove chicken to a plate, add onion, and brown over very low heat until edges of onion pieces are turning golden, about 12-15 minutes.  Remove browned onions to another plate. Add chicken back to pan, and cover with onions.  Heat chicken stock, add saffron and stir to dissolve, then pour over chicken and onions. Simmer on very low heat with pan covered 30-45 minutes. Add chopped parsley, lemon juice, and a tiny bit of additional water if needed, and simmer 15 minutes more. Serve hot, over rice if desired.


MORE PARSLEY RECIPES:    Parsley, Kale and Berry SmoothieButtery Lemon Parsley Noodles, Parsley Pinenut Pesto, Parsley Soup, Roasted Carrots with Parsley Butter


SwissChard SWISS CHARD:   First of all the name Swiss Chard is a little misleading.  The botanist who discovered and then named it hailed from Switzerland; however, its origin is farther south, in the Mediterranean region, specifically Sicily.  This tall leafy vegetable is a part of the goosefoot family — aptly named because the leaves resemble a goose’s foot. Other members are beets and spinach.  It goes by several other names including silverbeet, Roman kale, and strawberry spinach.

Chard is a great source of vitamin K, A and C, and is a wonderful cauldron of potassium, magnesium, iron and fiber. It is high in antioxidants, making it (once again) another great super food. AND it’s low in calories. A single serving is merely 35 calories, yet contains more than 300% of your daily vitamin K needs and more than a third of your daily value of vitamin C.  Swiss chard also offers fantastic antioxidant protection in the form of phytonutrients known as carotenoids. Specifically, the beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin found in chard help maintain eye health and may reduce the risk of cataracts.  Aside from supporting your eyes and immune system, chard helps maintain bones and may protect against osteoporosis, thanks to the  high doses of vitamin K and magnesium as well as a good amount of calcium.  And to top it off it is also rich in a multitude of B-complex vitamins (especially good for vegetarians).

A note though…Swiss chard contains oxalic acid, a naturally-occurring substance found in some vegetables, which may crystallize as oxalate stones in the urinary tract in some people.  So it is advisable to avoid eating chard in people with known kidney stones.


PREP TIME:  Chard is an extremely perishable leafy vegetable, so it should be used as early as possible once harvested.  As I always say with greens, rinse thoroughly in cool water and pat dry.  Fold each leaf in half lengthwise; cut out hard vein.  This part can be eaten as well, but you may want to chop it up and start it a bit ahead of time, to cook evenly with the leafy parts. To easily chop Swiss Chard roll up the leaf lengthwise and slice across into strips.  You can usually store Swiss Chard in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.


RECIPES:  Swiss chard has an earthy salty, yet bitter taste.  Mature  leaves and stalks are typically cooked, braised or sautéed; the bitter flavor fades with cooking. However, antioxidant properties of chard are significantly decreased on steaming, frying and boiling.  Try Swiss chard in smoothies, frittatas, as a side or in soups.


Swiss Chard Gratin
{courtesy of Whole Foods Market}

2 bunches Swiss chard leaves, chopped (about 8 cups packed)
1 cup water
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oilsc1
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, more for the baking dish
1 cup low-fat milk
2 tablespoons unbleached white flour
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon whole wheat bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350°F. Place chard leaves in a saucepan with the water and cook over medium heat until leaves are just tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Set chard aside. In the same saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. When butter has melted, whisk in the flour until blended. Whisk constantly for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the milk and reserved cooking liquid. Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce thickens, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and stir in half of the grated cheese. Stir in the cooked chard and transfer to a buttered 9×9-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbling.


Swiss Chard and Ricotta Pizza
{courtesy of Real Simple}sc2

1/4 cup olive oil, plus more for serving
1 pound pizza dough, at room temperature
kosher salt and black pepper
2 bunches Swiss chard, thick stems removed and sliced and leaves chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
1 cup ricotta

Heat oven to 450° F. Rub the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with 2 tablespoons of the oil. Press the dough into a 10-by-12-inch rectangle on the prepared baking sheet. Season with ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown, 18 to 22 minutes.  Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chard stems and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the chard leaves, garlic, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 4 minutes. Stir in the vinegar.  Dollop the ricotta on the pizza and top with the chard mixture. Drizzle with olive oil.


MORE RECIPES: Cream-Braised Chicken With Swiss Chard and Potatoes, Light Swiss Chard Frittata, Garlicky Swiss Chard and Chickpeas, Sausage and Swiss Chard Strata, Swiss Chard, Garlic and Gruyère Pizza,  Baked Potatoes With Ricotta, Swiss Chard and Toasted Garlic