Life is better because of Swiss chard (Okay, from now on, I will just call it chard - apologies to the Swiss). It's true! Chard is one of those vegetables that you totally knock before you try. I did. I remember when my friend, Vickie "Gardener Extraordinaire" gave me a bunch of it and said, "Here. Have some Swiss chard. " I was like, uh, Swiss what? It looked way too green, way too big and way to healthy to eat. I think I passed it on to a friend who had discovered, but not yet shared with me, the secret amazingness (is that a word?) of chard.Time passed and I finally got brave. I googled (can you believe that word is in the dictionary?) "how to cook swiss chard" and found this recipe on SimplyRecipes.com. After adding a bit of my own flair in the form of pancetta (or bacon if you're lucky), I've concluded that this recipe is the best way to prepare chard. So, here you go. The secret to happiness in life. Who knew!?
Swiss Chard: "The Bitch Stopped Cooking" Way:
What you need:
- a big bunch of Swiss chard. Organic if you can find it. Look for a PLU that starts with the number nine, which indicates an organically grown veggie.
- two or three cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- red pepper flakes
- 1/4 cup pancetta in cubes or a slice of bacon
- olive oil
After about three minutes or so (whatever, just don't burn the stuff), dump in the chopped up chard.
If it doesn't all fit, wait a second till it wilts a bit and then add more. I usually just put it all in even if it's overflowing, but it's up to you. Cover it all with a lid and wait. After about 4 or so minutes, check on it. If it's mostly wilted and looks a bit like this:
flip it all over with tongs or a spatula. Cover it again and let cook for another 4 or so minutes. Four minutes seems so exact, but really I have no idea how long I actually cook it for. I think it's about 4 minutes, definitely not longer than 5 minutes. It's something you just have to do by sight, you know?
A caveat: don't have the burner on too high. Burned chard is NASTY.
When it's all wilted and you find yourself in shock to see that the massive amount of green leaves you so recently crammed into your frying pan has turned into a piddly pile of green soggy mess, it's all done and ready to eat! Salt and pepper if needed and there you go.
Enjoy the sweaters it leaves on your teeth!!
Yes, those are fish sticks. Admit it - you love them, too. We got these at Trader Joe's. Yum!
The beans are from my garden!
If you're wondering about the things in the background of the picture of the chard in the dish drain....