Thursday, April 23, 2009

garlicky swiss chard

This is a simple and nutritious side dish that we make all the time. Growing up in an italian family, we had sauteed greens with every major meal. Spinach, dandelion greens, swiss chard...sauteed with garlic, black olives, sometimes anchovies, and olive oil. So delicious, and for me, a very comforting dish.

Now we eat a simple version, garlicky swiss chard. I like to serve it with creamy, cheesy corn grits for a nice weeknight meal.

You will need:

1 bunch of swiss chard

2 cloves of garlic

3 tablespoons of olive oil

salt and pepper

crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

To clean the swiss chard, chop the ends off of the stems (just about a 1/2 inch). Then fill a large bowl with cold water and drop in the chard. Move it around a bit so that it all gets covered in water. After about 5 minutes, pick the swiss chard out of the bowl, dump the water, and then start again. Fill the bowl with cold water, wait 5 minutes...Then, pull the chard out of the water, shake off excess, and place on a kitchen towel to dry.

After you've dried off the chard a bit, chop the stems into 1 inch pieces, and rough chop the leaves into 2 inch pieces.

Mince the cloves of garlic, and drop the garlic into a medium-high saute pan with the olive oil. Saute the garlic for 2-3 minutes, and then drop in the stems only. Continue cooking for 2-3 minutes until the stems start to soften. Then, drop all of the chopped leaves into the pan.

It may seem like a lot, but it will wilt quickly. Continue to cook until all of the greens have wilted. Add salt and pepper, and if desired, add about 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes for heat (YUM!!).

Serve with cheesy corn grits, or as a side dish with your favorite meal.

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