Sauteed Swiss Chard

One of my favorite vegetables, well even favorite foods, is Swiss Chard, and I frequently crave it. It's one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat, second only to spinach. This recipe has several other ingredients that make this a very healthy dish.

Chard is related to beet greens, and both should be boiled to release the oxalic acid. Rinsing the chard here and then steaming is enough to perform the chemical change necessary to reap the healthful benefits.

In the past, my understanding had been that the red stemmed chard was the variety known as "Swiss chard," and that the large, white stemmed variety was just "chard," however with more recent research I've learned that all varieties can be called "Swiss chard," originally to distinguish between this green and "French spinach."

Large Saute Pan
About 20 Minutes

2 Bunches Chard (Any Variety)
3-4 T. Olive Oil 4 Cloves Garlic, Large Dice
Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
1/2 Lemon Salt & Pepper

  • Heat the olive oil in a very large skillet over med. low heat and saute garlic until brown, and add a pinch of red pepper flakes. Rinse chard, cut off the large, tough, lower portion of the stems, then dice the leaves. 
  • Add to the pan and toss with the oil and garlic, raise the heat to med. high, then cover and let steam and collapse, tossing occasionally. You can serve the steamed chard immediately, or remove the lid and saute until it begins to brown a bit.
  • Season with salt & pepper, and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over. It turns the olive oil a great chartreuse green color.
Delicious on it's own, but I love to put it on top of brown rice.
Careful not to burn the garlic, it'll get bitter.

1. I usually use white chard, as that's what's typically available year round in my local grocery stores and produce markets, but in the summer, I can often pick up red or rainbow chard at the farmer's markets. Any will work.

2. Cut the chard into about 2 inch squares by stacking the leaves on top of each other, cutting lenthwise in several strips, then cutting cross-wise. As with cooking any leafy greens, it will initially seem like lots of chard, but will cook down quite a bit.

3. This may seem like quite a bit of garlic, but cooking slowly over a lower heat, it will mellow quite a bit like roasted garlic, and won't be too potent.

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