One of the big things today is kale – a dark green leafy vegetable that is all the rage. Not only do you find it fresh on the produce aisle, but for snacking in all sorts of flavors!
Left behind is another dark green and red leafy vegetable that is so often overlooked but is just as healthy as kale and that is Swiss Chard! It is a tender green and should be handled gently – as you do with spinach, also a tender green. It has an earthy flavor but not as bitter as kale and pairs easily and well with a variety of entrees. A single bunch is perfect for 2 so it is easy to figure out just how much you need for dinner!
There are 2 varieties of chard – the red and the green. The red or rhubarb chard is a brilliant red color in its stalk and is a little stronger in flavor than the green. The green has a white stalk; both have leaves that are dark to medium green. The leaves take much less time to cook than do the stalks, so I suggest you start them first, then add the leaves just at the end to wilt them. A little minced onion or shallot, a clove or 2 of garlic and a squirt of fresh lemon juice is all you need!
Gee, looks as if I’ve already given you the recipe, haven’t I? Well, keep reading and I’ll give you the proportions for 2 and if you are serving 4 or more, just do the math!
Sautéed Swiss Chard
- 2 Tbsp. plus 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 bunch Swiss Chard, about 12 oz.
- 1/2 c minced onion or shallot
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tsp. fresh thyme, minced
- 1 tsp. fresh lemon juice
- Freshly ground black pepper
Separate the leaves of the chard and rinse them. Shake off excess water but do not dry them. (The little water will help them steam.) Cut the stems into medium sized chunks, keeping them as much as possible, the same size and shape. Set aside. Place the leaves on top of one another and slice them onto about 1/4″ pieces. Set aside separately from the stems.
Heat the 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a 12” skillet on medium heat until the oil is “shimmering”. Add the chard stems, onion and 1/4 tsp. salt. Sauté until softened and just lightly browned, about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic and thyme and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds; add chard leaves, cover and cook until the leaves have wilted and are tender, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the heat, stir in the lemon juice and season with additional salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with remaining 1 tsp. olive oil and serve immediately.
Makes 2 servings