Monday, August 24, 2009

Swiss Chard: A Must Try

How I have managed to go 21 years without trying Swiss Chard... the world may never know. As I mentioned before this green intrigued me and was on the top of my "must try" list. The leaves are broad and look stunning on their colorful stalks. The striking yellow, orange, pink and red of Rainbow Chard look too beautiful to eat. I found a bunch of Swiss Chard with a red (almost a purple wine color)stem at my local grocery store and decided to give it a try. It was extremely easy to prepare, looked gorgeous on my plate, tasted great and to top it all off, it is good for you! How could you go wrong? It is high in vitamin K (1 cup= 306% of your daily value!) which promotes bone health, vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and iron.

How I Prepared:
Wash; Strip leaves away from stems and slice into strips; Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a skillet on a Medium high heat; When pan starts becoming hot, add about a teaspoon of garlic to the oil to infuse; add the Swiss Chard and Saute until wilted (about two minutes).

I used tongs to move the chard around the pan, and as the chard wilted, the garlic took on the bold purple color from the veins of the leaves. The contrast of the dark green with the purple was very eye pleasing. The taste of chard is slightly bitter and salty; a perfect canvas for garlic or crushed red pepper. Sauteing the chard gave it a subtle tenderness but it still maintained it's sturdy composition. It was a substantial side dish and a delight to eat. (I served it with fresh coho salmon, pan-seared and finished with a lemon dill butter and flavored basting oil...I know I felt like a chef when I plated it all...I should have taken a picture it looked very professional.)

Wine Pairing: Riesling. The the bitter/salt complex along with the spicy notes in garlic (or red pepper..whatever you choose to prepare it with) need something fruity and clean to refresh your palate.

Explore Your Produce,


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