Monday, July 28, 2014

Swiss Chard with Ginger & Garlic

My standard response to the question of "What do I do with chard?" (or virtually any bitter green, let's be honest) has always been, "Saute it with garlic, olive oil, and sea salt," and there's certainly nothing wrong with that.  This is a slightly dressed-up version of that basic idea, and it's currently my favorite way to eat chard.

A couple of notes:

  • Depending on how much bite and/or crunch you like in your chard stems, you can adjust the cooking time as required.  The original recipe says to cook for 5 minutes, "or until chard is just done."  I cook mine for more like 10 minutes, to get the stems really soft and evaporate some of the moisture from the pan.  
  • Also, the original recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, which was way too much for our fairly un-spicy family, so I've dialed it down to a mere sprinkle here.  If you like your chard hot, feel free to dial back up.  

adapted from Curry Easy by Madhur Jaffrey

serves 2 as a side dish

1 bunch Swiss chard
3 Tablespoons coconut oil
1 clove garlic, peeled and cut into long slivers
1 teaspoon peeled and finely slivered fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
pinch cayenne pepper

Holding several leaves together and starting at the stem end, cut the chard crossways at 1/4-inch intervals.  Place in a large bowl and cover with cool water; swish the chard around a few times to remove any remaining dirt.

Put the oil into a large pan and place over a medium-high heat.  When hot, put in the garlic and ginger.  Stir a few times.  Put in all the chard -- remember to lift it out of the water, don't drain through a colander! -- with the washing water still clinging to the leaves.  Cover.

As soon as the leaves have wilted, a matter of a few minutes, add the salt and cayenne pepper.  Stir to mix.  Cover again and lower the heat.  Cook for 5 minutes covered, then 5 more minutes uncovered, until some moisture has evaporated and chard stems are softened.  Serve immediately.

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