Last week I bought some beautiful rainbow chard from my favourite farm stand at McCarren Park Farmers’ Market. The leaves were so long and robust and the stems so brightly coloured I couldn’t resist.
The next day I brought a chard salad into work. As I tucked in, gleeful at my technicolour meal, I started noticing a faint scratchiness in my mouth that turned into a toasty, raw sensation in my throat for the next hour. What, I thought to myself, could be causing this unfortunate malady?
Despite my love of this delicious leafy green, I had a hunch it was the chard. When I got home I conducted a small taste test of all the components in my salad that day, and again the chard caused a mild allergy. This had never happened before and I was surprised!
But never one to let an overgrown beet top get the better of him, I set to plotting how to lift this thorny issue from between me and my rainbow deliciousness. I would try sautéeing it to see if that got rid of the itching (often mild allergic reactions such as this one can be alleviated through cooking).
Last night was the night of truth. After chopping up the stems, tearing the leaves, and wilting it all in a pan with olive oil leftover from the marcona almond bin at Murray’s and sea salt from Hawai’i I received as a gift on tour, I could eat my chard once more!
While it was still steaming, I turned it into a salad with marcona almonds, fresh dill, basil from the garden at the Edible Schoolyard, broccoli flowers, sunflower seeds, a squeeze of lemon, toasted pita, and some delicious Pecorino Oro Antico. This time around, my mouth and throat were celebrating along with me at lunchtime.