My Lebanese brother-in-law introduced me to chard. He is an excellent cook so, when he makes a dish, I take notice and notes. A few years back, he made a stew of lentils to which he added colorful-stemmed Swiss chard. F. reminded me of an alchemist in the kitchen as he added a little of this and a little of that, tasting after each addition and adjusting accordingly. The finished dish was delicious.
My dish is very simple and meant to accompany an entree. It is also an attempt to use as many vegetables as possible while they still travel only ten miles up the road-from the farm to my table. The farmers' market closes at the end of this month. I'm sad!
Simple Saute of Swiss Chard for Two
Salt to taste
1 pound Swiss chard
1 Tbsp melted butter
1 tsp canola oil
Pepper to taste
Vinegar or lemon juice if desired
1. Rinse the chard and carefully remove the leaves from the stem. Don't dry the leaves as the water clinging to them is needed in the saute pan. Try to keep the leaves whole. Cut the stems into pieces (about 1/2 inch or so). Roll the leaves together, a few at a time, and cut them crosswise into 1 inch wide strips.
2. In a saucepan large enough to hold the leaves and stems, melt the butter with the oil. Add the stems to the pan and saute, over medium heat, for about 5 minutes. Add the leaves, salt them a bit, and cook another 5 minutes, stirring the leaves frequently as they wilt into the butter. Add pepper to taste. Remove from heat and cover the pan with a lid to steam them for a minute or so.
3. Serve warm and offer vinegar and/or lemon juice to those who like their greens livened up a bit.