This is Utah Eat Local Week, a statewide grassroots challenge to eat as locally as possible. To celebrate our regional harvest and showcase some incredible Utah products, I used as many Utah ingredients in these rainbow chard garlic toasts as I could. No matter where you live, I hope this recipe sparks you to choose local foods when possible.
With home gardens and CSAs happily overflowing with produce, I felt comfortable taking the Eat Local Pledge, challenging myself to eat and cook and blog local for one week. Everything I needed for today’s recipe–the artisan whole grain bread, sweet rainbow chard, salt, awesome garlic and a very tasty honey wine vinegar–I found at farmer’s markets and nearby grocery stores.
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I started at Red Bicycle Breadworks, which, according to Google maps, is one mile from my kitchen. That’s local, but what’s so cool is that Red Bicycle Breadworks sources Utah ingredients for their bread. The flour is organic, milled in Utah.
After your first bite, I think you will agree—that the mellow roasted garlic hiding under sautéed chard transforms these toasts into extraordinary. The garlic is from Ranui Gardens, just 21 miles ‘over to’ Hoytsville, as they say in these parts. @garlicfarmer grows mountain weather greens and veggies, as well as over 10 varietals of hardneck garlic. As my CSA, Ranui produce inspires many recipes on this blog, including this one for roasted garlic.
I picked up rainbow chard at the First Frost Farm booth, 2 booths up from Ranui Gardens’ stand at Park City Farmer’s Market. Every First Frost farmer’s pack up their van and drive from Nibley (108 miles) to Park City with their gorgeous greens.
If you want to taste the flavor miracle of vinegar splashed into cooked greens, taste your chard before and after spashing the honey vinegar to the skillet. It’s like going from vanilla to chocolate. Slide Ridge Honey Wine Vinegar, is possibly the most amazing vinegar you will ever put to your lips.
Quality handcrafted cheese makers continue Utah’s agricultural tradition. I choose Snake Creek Medium Cheddar from Heber Valley Artisan Cheese because it complements garlic and chard meltingly. It’s made 18 miles from here, less as the crow flies. I rode my bike three blocks to the grocery store to buy this cheese.
Red Bicycle Bread and Letty’s Kitchen cook with Real Salt. The sweet tasting salt is mined in Redmond Utah, is unbleached, unheated, and not altered–it’s natural slight pink color with calico brown and grey flecks speak the truth of more than 60 trace minerals.
Locavore. A word worth 12 points in Scrabble, is a person who is interested in eating food that is locally produced. I created these rainbow chard garlic toasts to recognize Utah food producers, and to celebrate summer’s harvest. Even if you’re not in Utah, see if you can make these toasted using your own local ingredients.
A few more of my recipes using Utah products:
- Yukon Gold Potatoes, Roasted Green Chiles and Heber Valley Halloumi
- Real Salt, Summer Savory and Garlic
- Crunchy Herb Croutons and Heirloom Tomatoes
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Serve these casual amazingly delicious toasts with salad or soup, or both. They can be lunch or easy supper. Makes 6 toasts.
- 1 loaf whole grain bread
- 1 head garlic, roasted (see note)
- 2 cloves garlic minced (see note)
- 1 bunch rainbow chard
- 1 teaspoon honey wine vinegar
- Real Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 or 3 ounces medium white cheddar cheese
Cut the bread in half. Save one half for another use. Place the other half, cut side down, on a cutting board. Slice crosswise a bit more than ½-inch thick—you should get 8 slices, plus a couple of end pieces. Choose 6 of the largest slices. (see notes)
Strip the chard leaves from their stems. (see note)
Chop the leaves into pieces about 1 ½-inch square.
Place the chard leaves in a large non-stick skillet, over medium flame. Add the minced raw garlic and about ¼ cup of water. Season with a couple pinches of salt.
Cover the skillet (I use a pizza pan or my pizza stone), and cook 5 minutes, until the chard wilts. Remove the cover. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the moisture evaporates from the pan and the chard becomes very tender. Splash in the honey wine vinegar, cook another minute. Season to taste with salt.
Lightly toast the bread slices. Spread each slice with one clove of roasted garlic.
Divide the wilted chard into 6 portions. Using your fingers, spread it around on the toasts.
Heat the broiler. Slice the cheese into thin strips and arrange on top of the chard. Broil until the cheese melts and bubbles, about 5 minutes.
Serve with a generous grind of black pepper.