Garden Fresh Swiss Chard Parmigiana (Recipe)

Ciao a tutti, here is a simple, delicious dish using garden fresh produce!

Yesterday my friend Enzo dropped off some goodies from his amazing garden, including some beautiful fresh Swiss chard.  Since I wanted something light but at the same time very flavourful, I created a lovely Swiss chard parmigiana – light, healthy, easy to make, and most of all, super delicious.

Here is the recipe. Enjoy!


Ingredients

For the parmigiana:

  • 1 bunch fresh Swiss chard (red or yellow are nice too!)
  • Some olive oil for frying  (a cheap olive oil will do it) 
  • 1/2 lbs fresh buffalo or fresh Mozzarella
  • 1 cup grated pecorino cheese or parmigiano
  • Flour for dusting

For the tomato sauce:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 bottle of Italian passata (700 gr. strained Italian tomatoes)
  • 1/3 lbs ripe cherry tomatoes or Campari tomatoes
  • 1 shallots
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Some fine sea salt
  • A handful fresh Basil


Directions

To make a quick tomato sauce:

  1. Finely dice the shallot and peel the garlic, leaving it whole.
  2. Add ¼ cup olive oil into a large enough pot and set at medium high heat.
  3. Add the shallots and whole garlic and fry for 5 minutes. Make sure it doesn’t burn; lower the heat if necessary.
  4. Add the tomato passata, rinse the bottle with 1.5 cups of water and pour into the sauce. Yes the sauce is going to be thin, but don’t panic!
  5. Add the whole basil, no need to chop it up, and push it into the sauce.
  6. Season with fine sea salt and lightly stir. Bring to a light simmer and cook for 20 minutes, stirring once in a while.

In the meantime:

  1. Wash the Swiss chard and cut 1 inch off of the stem and discard.
  2. Dry the Swiss chard.
  3. Prepare a large sheet or plate with paper towel at the bottom to absorb extra oil from the fried Swiss chard and set aside.
  4. Pour roughly 1 inch of olive oil into a frying pan and set at high heat.
  5. Dust into a large plate the Swiss chard leaves with flour, do it in batches and set aside.
  6. Once the oil is hot, sprinkle some flour in it. When it sizzles, the oil is ready.
  7. Fry the Swiss chard very fast for 10 seconds on each side, make a few batches since the leaves are large, cut them in half if you need to.
  8. Transfer the swish chard into the plate with paper towels.

Now for the parmigiana:

  1. Preheat the oven at 400.
  2. Take a large enough baking or ceramic pan and evenly coat the bottom with sauce. Dust with some grated cheese.
  3. Now lay half of the fried Swiss chard.
  4. Dice the mozzarella and cut the tomatoes in half or quarter them if they’re bigger and evenly add to the Swiss chard.
  5. Dust with more cheese and add few scoops of tomato sauce.
  6. Now add the final layer with the remaining of the Swiss chard.
  7. Add more sauce on top to evenly coat and dust with more grated cheese. Since there is salt in the cheese and sauce I don’t add any more salt at this point.
  8. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the top is lightly roasted.


This dish is great served hot or at room temperature!

Enjoy!