En­joy now: sil­ver­beet

NZ House & Garden - - FOOD -

This re­li­able leafy green has never been top of the pops but all it re­ally needs is some de­cent PR – that cer­tainly did the trick for kale. Sil­ver­beet has been re­ferred to as don­key grass but the Ro­mans con­sid­ered it a del­i­cacy. Amer­i­cans call it chard. Easy to grow and full of good­ness, it de­serves a more fre­quent spot on our menus.

De­spite ap­pear­ances, sil­ver­beet is no re­la­tion to spinach (in fact, it’s from the beet­root fam­ily), al­though it does have sim­i­lar nu­tri­tional qual­i­ties.

Sil­ver­beet can be treated as two veg­eta­bles in one: the chunky white stalks and the deep green leaves. They can be cooked to­gether (the stalks take longer so give them a head start of 2-3 min­utes) but try us­ing the stalks in a stir-fry and mix­ing the shred­ded leaves with mashed potato in pat­ties or a mash (see be­low).

Car­away seeds and nut­meg are ex­cel­lent flavour ad­di­tions.

Young leaves are good raw in a salad. It’s im­por­tant to wash sil­ver­beet leaves re­ally well be­fore use, as dirt tends to cling in the folds.

Sil­ver­beet can be used pretty much any­where you would use cooked spinach or other thick leafy greens, such as stews, stir-fries, stuff­ings, soups and pas­tas.

When sautéed, the bit­ter­ness of ma­ture leaves will fade and it will taste sweeter than cooked spinach.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.