Chard is one of my favorite winter vegetables. It is packed with nutrients and so easy to grow in the garden. I have tried to grow all of the different colors of chard but always go back to the traditional green chard with the white stem. It has a mild flavor and the plants are vigorous with large leaves. I use about 8-10 large leaves (which is the size of a large bunch at the store) for the 2 of us.
I wash the leaves well, to remove every drop of grit. If they are very dirty, soak them in a sink full of water first, then rinse them. I cut off the very large stem end. You can also cut around and remove the stem if you would like only the green leaves, but I like to eat at least some of the stem. I chop the chard coarsely and plunge it into a large pot of boiling water that has had about a teaspoon of salt added.
I boil the chard for about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile I heat a skillet on medium heat with a teaspoon or two of olive oil, then add some slivers of garlic.
I shake in some dried hot chili flakes which come in a spice jar, or add 1 hot chili from the garden.
Once the chard has cooked, I scoop it out with an Asian handled strainer (I love that thing!) right into the pan with the oil and garlic.
Often I will make this a meal by putting some spicy turkey sausage in with the garlic before I add the chard. You can also add onions, peppers, pasta, you name it.
I also will cook spinach this way, but I don’t boil it first. I just rinse it and throw it straight into the frying pan with the seasonings and oil. You need to use a lot of spinach, it cooks down much more than the chard does. We have been known to eat a pound of fresh spinach just between the two of us.
© 2015. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.