[MUSIC PLAYING] ERIN HARNER: Now we're going to do the Swiss chard salad. My name is Erin Harner, and I'm a registered dietitian nutritionist with Cornell Wellness. For this Swiss chard salad, we're going to start with a bunch of Swiss chard. And the bunch size varies. So sometimes, you're going to get a huge bunch, and other times you'll get a small bunch.
So this is a certain type of Swiss chard called red Swiss chard. You'll also see rainbow chard, which has red and yellow and white. Typical Swiss chard is white, so the stalks are white. I prefer the red, because the red has lots of nutrients in the color. So those phytonutrients make it colorful, so it makes it a little bit more nutritious, but it also is prettier. It adds a lot of character to the salad. So that's really why I use it, is because it's just beautiful.
All right. So for our Swiss chard-- and this has already been washed. For our chard, what we're going to do is we're going to wash it in a large bowl of cold water. So what we would do is we'd fill up the bowl with water, and we'd dunk our leaves and we'd wash them individually. And we want to make sure that all of the debris and other things are off of the leaves. And then we pat them dry with a dish towel or paper towels. But I already did that step for us today.
So what we're going to do with the chard is we're going to start by removing the stems. Now you can remove the stems with your hands, which is a really fast and easy way to do it. Sometimes they're not quite as cooperative, like this one. And you can just use a knife. So I'll show you both ways.
So I'll pull this one off with my fingers. It makes it really quick, if you're used to spending a long time chopping with a knife kind of around all of the spine of the leaves. Just pulling it off with your hand is a little bit faster. OK.
So some people like to treat the stalks and the leaves as different vegetables. So you can actually cook with them very differently. And the stalks have totally different character, and they are delicious on their own, or in a saute. But we're going to use these to put right in the salad today.
So I'm going to start by chopping the stalks. So I'm going to take my knife, and I'm just going to run my knife down the middle of the stalk. And I'm going to chop right up the stalk like this.
So chopping up the stalk separately is going to give the salad a lot of character, and it's going to function kind of like it's a completely different vegetable. So we're just going to slice down the middle so it's not too big. And you can do as many as you want all at once, as well, just by grouping them into a bunch like this. Watching your fingers, tuck your fingers back, and just go right down the chard. So you don't have to do them individually. I'm going to put these right in our bowl.
Next thing I'm going to do is I'm going to chiffonade the Swiss chard. Now if you're not familiar with this technique, it's a lot of fun. So all we're going to do is we're going to take our Swiss chard that's had the stalks cut off, and we're going to stack it in a pile, at least as nice of a pile as you can make with a bunch of, you know, rough and tumble green leafy vegetables.
So we're going to kind of roll it up like a jelly roll. Sometimes it works better than others, depending on how well your leaves are together. You can see how it's in a jelly roll.
Now I'm just going to come down and chop, being very careful your fingers but still holding tight onto the bunch. And I'm going to chop the whole thing all at once. So it makes quick work of that bunch of Swiss chard.
And then, because it's a salad and we're going to eat bite-sized pieces, I'm just going to take my knife and come back this way and chop it a few times. Now we've got lots of really nice Swiss chard. Looks like lettuce, somewhat like lettuce. Little bit more colorful, a little bit different flavor.
So Swiss chard is a member of the goosefoot family. It's a member of the same family that quinoa and spinach are a member of. It's a relative of spinach.
SPEAKER 2: The knife is Chicago Cutlery? Sharp knife. Which company is it?
ERIN HARNER: This knife is actually a Wusthof knife. There's lots of great companies out there that sell really nice, sharp knives that keep their blade at all ends of the price spectrum.
So I'm just going to give my knife a rinse. And this is a large chef's knife, so it makes short work of leafy greens. Because it's so big, you can kind of cut through that whole bunch all at once. A smaller knife like this would also work quite well. I have a few different knives here to show you.
All right, so the next thing we're going to do is we're going to slice our scallions. So these have also already been washed. Many people just like to use the white part of the scallion. Scallions are-- taste somewhat like onions, but they're a little different flavor. So I'm just going to chop off the ends. And then we're going to go right up the stalk, being very careful my fingers, and this is going to give some nice flavor to our salad.
And I'm going to use the green parts as well as the white parts. And then just discard the tops. I'm going to put those right on the salad. And we're going to toss this all at the end, so I'm not worried about the order that anything is going in. OK.
Next thing we're going to add are some radishes. Why radishes? It's going to add some more red color. It's fun. It's got a little spice to it.
And there's two different types of radishes up here. This one is called the watermelon radish. This is one of those odd vegetables that you might find in a CSA share box and wonder what to do with. A salad like this is a great way to use it. You could also use small red radishes like this. These grow in the winter in New York, these do not. So we're actually going to use the watermelon radish so you guys can see what it tastes like today.
So when I cut open the watermelon radish, they have a beautiful purple color on the inside. So what I'm going to do is chop up the radish. And these are much less spicy than regular red radishes.
SPEAKER 3: I'm guessing you peel [INAUDIBLE].
ERIN HARNER: I did. I did peel the radish just because it's-- it was a little bit gnarly on the outside. I did scrub it really well with a veggie brush, but these radishes have pretty thick skin just because they do grow in the winter here in New York.
All right. We're going to go the other way. And I'm just going to dice these. I'm not cutting them in any particular fashion. But you can see how beautiful the inside of that is. So it's bright purple in color.
So you might not go seeking these out, but if you happen to end up with some watermelon radishes, just know that they're great in salads. You just chop them up and stick them in. And there's our radishes.
The next thing we're going to do is make our dressing. So this is a very, very simple dressing. And I'm going to show you how to do that with a little cup. I'm going to use a fork to kind of whisk it up.
So what we're going to do for our dressing is just combine-- very, very simple-- we're going to combine some extra virgin olive oil, and we're going to do two tablespoons. So if you've never seen one of these, these are grates for measuring. They are just a measuring glass. It looks almost like a shot glass, but it's used for measuring liquids. So it's a little easier than spilling tablespoons of oil all over the counter. So I really enjoy using these. You can measure two to eight tablespoons all at once.
Then I'm also going to use some really good quality balsamic vinegar. We're only going to use two tablespoons. This stuff is expensive, but it's thick and rich and gives things an amazing flavor.
You can also use just regular, plain old store-bought balsamic vinegar. Just know that it's not going to be quite as rich in flavor. And you can find these at many of the shops and extra virgin olive oil and balsamic stores are popping up all over the country, so they're becoming pretty easy to find.
So we're going to do two tablespoons of our balsamic vinegar. And this is a pomegranate-- it's got a little flavor to it, this is a pomegranate balsamic vinegar. It'll just give it a little extra flavor. But regular balsamic would be just fine, too.
Next thing we're going to do is add half a teaspoon of sea salt. Let's see. All right. So half a teaspoon of sea salt. Add it right to our dish. And then half a teaspoon of pepper. And this is just black ground pepper.
I'm just going to take a fork and whisk it up. So while it sounds very simple, that little four-ingredient dressing is an amazing salad dressing for any salad that you make at home. And the better quality ingredients you have, the better it's going to taste.
OK. Now all I'm going to do is I'm going to pour this right over top. And this is a dressed salad, so you want to make sure that you're making it pretty shortly before you serve it. It's going to have a little time to sit today, so it's going to sit for a little bit before we get to eat it. But it shouldn't bother it too much.
And then we're going to do the same thing as we did before with the kale chips. We're actually going to get in there and massage it. OK?
So I'm going to dive right in with my hands, and we're going to massage it. If you make a kale salad or a spinach salad, this technique works really great for those two to help just break up some of the fiber in those greens, help them wilt a little bit and help the flavors combine. All right.
So you don't need to squeeze too much. Remember, it's a cousin of spinach, so it's got a much softer texture than something like a kale or a collard green. So spinach-- so Swiss chard you can certainly eat raw, but it's often eaten cooked.
So this is what our dish looks like before I add the cranberries and the walnuts. And all I'm going to do is take our cranberries and our walnuts and sprinkle them over top. So we'll start with the cranberries, and then we'll add the walnuts.
So the walnuts have been dry roasted for about 30 seconds to a minute on a medium high heat. So all you would do there is turn on the burner to medium high, dry-- a dry skillet-- no oil, no nothing-- and just saute them very quickly. It'll give them a really nice flavor without doing anything to the essential fatty acids in there. So it won't do anything to mess up the nutrition of the walnuts.
All right, so there is our Swiss chard salad. Pretty delicious, right? Lots of different colors. You can see the stalks in there. And you guys will get a chance to try that in a little bit. All right.
If you have trouble with your cutting board sliding on your counter, just having a cloth underneath-- so dampen a dish towel and stick it underneath, and it won't slide on it. Whereas if it's on the counter, it goes everywhere. So it's a really great way to protect your fingers if you're cutting.
OK, so the question was related to storing leafy greens. So, there's lots of different ways to store leafy greens. One of my favorites is just eat them quickly. So the sooner you can eat them from when they're picked, the better the nutrition is going to be. Nutrition deteriorates over time. So if your greens look wilted and sad-looking, they're past their prime. You should have eaten them sooner.
Turning them-- if you have a lot of leafy greens, you can always blanch them and stick them in the freezer. And that's a great way to preserve them before they get to that limp state. But you really want to eat the leafy greens when they're looking fresh and vibrant.
Another way to preserve leafy greens that works quite well is something called a green bag. And there's many different versions of these on the market. They're essentially a plastic bag that absorbs ethylene gas, and that will keep them from wilting as fast. So this is another solution. Especially if you're doing something like spinach or lettuce or a very tender green that's going to wilt or kind of deteriorate really quickly, this really does a good job at helping them stay fresher longer.
SPEAKER 4: We actually have some of those. Are they reusable?
ERIN HARNER: They are reusable, yeah. You can use them up to 30 times, I believe. Yeah, so we've actually had ours for a couple years. And they still work pretty effectively.
So one of the challenges with storing leafy greens is that they get dehydrated. So keeping the greens within a bag really helps. Keeping them in a crisper drawer really helps keep them fresher longer. And then, like this young woman said, if they do get dehydrated, they get kind of wilty, floppy, sad-looking, you can just cut off the ends and soak them in a cup of water for an hour or two on your counter-- or you can do it in the refrigerator-- and that will help rehydrate them. And if they come back to life, great. So that's a great way to do it.
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Using the entire leaf, this salad offers another way to enjoy the abundance of seasonal greens. Demo presented by Cornell Wellness staff Erin Harner, RDN.