Saturday, May 8, 2010

Green Girl

There's nothing quite like some good greens. I come from a family of Iowa style eaters whose idea of vegetable was the almighty spud and was never really introduced to the exotic world of greens until I lived on my own and stumbled onto the organic market. Suddenly I was in the world of greens and fell in love with the easy preparation, multitude of possibilities and health aspects. Today, I find myself craving greens just like I do dark chocolate--quickly sauteed mustard greens as garnish on top of any soup; steamed escarole with bacon bits as a side to any salad or meat; and wild doses of arugula cold or hot in peppery salads or streaked into Sunday morning omelets. 

But my favorite of all is swiss chard. With big leaves and a slightly bitter taste, this green can stand alone as a main dish in a meal or as a side. I was lucky enough recently, while dining at the home of my close friend Arlene (whose private garden is always full of greens as well as chickens, goats, pastel colored wildflowers and roadrunners) to acquire a fat bag of them. 

This recipe below is a standard for me. A ten minute saute that makes a nice bowl of savory, buttery and flavorful spiked greens that is good enough to stand on its own and slightly spicy!

Spicy Swiss Chard
  • 1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
  • 1 small clove garlic, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp water
  • Pinch of dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • Salt

Rinse out the Swiss chard leaves thoroughly. Remove the toughest third of the stalk, discard or save for another recipe. Roughly chop the leaves into inch-wide strips.

Heat a saucepan on a medium heat setting, add olive oil, a few small slices of garlic and the crushed red pepper. Sauté for about a minute. Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves. Cover. Check after about 5 minutes. If it looks dry, add a couple tablespoons of water. Flip the leaves over in the pan, so that what was on the bottom, is now on the top. Cover again. Check for doneness after another 5 minutes (remove a piece and taste it). Add salt to taste, and a small amount of butter. Remove the swiss chard to a serving dish.

1 comment: