Thursday, January 21, 2010

Swiss Chard

I LOVE swiss chard.  Come to think of it, I pretty much love all greens, but right now I am especially loving swiss chard (above) and beet greens (below).  Yesterday, David offered to cook dinner when he came home, and greens were in the fridge, so this is what we had.  In addition to a couple of bunches of rainbow swiss chard, we also had some beet greens left over from a few days ago when we made some roasted vegetables for a weekend feast so we threw them in with the chard.  Like all greens, they offer great lung supporting enzymes - an especially helpful thing to keep in mind if you suffer from allergies, asthma or frequent colds/chest coughs.

The first thing you want to do when preparing greens is to clean them in cold salted water and rinse thoroughly.  The salt helps to kill off any little bugs that might be hanging around (RARELY, have I seen a bug, but it's the ones you can't see that you have to be wary of...).

With swiss chard, keep in mind that their larger stalks will take longer to cook than the leafy part of them, so it is a good idea to remove the stalks and cut them up (like you would celery) and cook them in a little bit of olive oil with some garlic and onions.  The colors of the stalks from rainbow chard are so nice and bright, I wanted to make sure you could see them before we added the onions.

When the stalks have softened and the onions have browned slightly, remove them from the pan (put into a bowl) and add the greens into the pan, cooking on medium heat until they begin to wilt (just a few minutes), turning occasionally.  Add the stalks & onions back into the pan.  Stir.  Season with a little sea salt, some fresh ground black pepper and crushed red pepper (aka:  red pepper flakes) - if you like it spicy; remove from heat and enjoy.

For this recipe, we used:
2 bunches rainbow swiss chard
1 small bunch beet greens
3 cloves garlic
1/2 large onion, cut in rings
a little bit of olive oil
sea salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper (all to taste)

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