At this time of year silverbeet (AKA chard) is so bloody delicious. It has soft and delicate iron rich and dark green leaves which are packed full of nutrients. In abundance now, silverbeet has a deep earthy flavour and a wonderful bitter sweetness. The plant is especially popular in Mediterranean cooking; both the leaf and juicy stalks can be utilised and are very versatile. For example, when you've collected enough of the stems (which most people through out), you can make an easy vegetable stock.
Like many leafy green vegetables, silverbeet are rich in a dazzling array of minerals. It has high levels of magnesium, calcium, vitamin K, iron, potassium, vitamin A and fibre.
How to use
- Try silverbeet as a side with meat, chicken or fish – sauté chopped silverbeet, onion and garlic, add pine nuts and currants, then serve while hot.
- Make a silverbeet and ricotta pie – mix cooked silverbeet with eggs, ricotta, fresh herbs and lemon juice, then spoon into a pastry case (or use filo pastry) and bake until golden.
- Serve creamed silverbeet – sauté garlic, add chopped silverbeet, a sprinkle of nutmeg and cream and then simmer until the silverbeet wilts.
- Silverbeet with lemon and walnuts- sautés garlic, walnuts and silverbeet, serve with fresh lemon juice
1 kg silverbeet, stalks trimmed
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tbsp lemon juice
1/2 tsp dried oregano
3 tbsp finely chopped dill
3 tbsp finely chopped mint
Sea salt and pepper
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 packet filo pastry, thawed
4 tbsp olive oil
Heat oven to 190C. Wash and roughly chop silverbeet leaves, finely chop any stalks. Cook in simmering salted water for five minutes or until tender, then drain well and cool. Squeeze out excess moisture. In a big bowl, mash feta with ricotta. Add grated nutmeg, lemon juice, oregano, dill, mint, salt and a generous amount of pepper. Add eggs and cooked silverbeet, mixing well.
Lightly brush a sheet of filo pastry with oil, place a second sheet on top, brush again, and continue until you have six oiled sheets. Form filling into a log shape along the long edge of the pastry. Roll it up to seal, tucking in the ends as you go.
Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, and brush with remaining oil. Bake for 40 minutes until golden. Rest for 10 minutes, then cut into slices and serve with a little extra mint and dill.