I never liked Swiss chard, until several years ago I had some that had been freshly picked from a friend’s garden. It was so sweet and buttery I couldn’t believe it was actually Swiss chard. It was then I learned that freshness was the key determinant to whether chard was delectable or detestable. Last night we had Swiss chard that we had picked up from Whole Foods. It was good, quite good. But not nearly as fantastic as the chard we had a week ago that we had bought from the farmer’s market. So here’s a hint. If the thought of Swiss chard leaves you uninspired, get some from a farmer’s market that has been freshly picked. It is sort of like the difference between white corn picked that day, or the same corn two days later. The tastes don’t even compare.
- 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
1 Rinse out the Swiss chard leaves thoroughly. Remove the toughest third of the stalk, discard or save for another recipe (such as this Swiss chard ribs with cream and pasta). Roughly chop the leaves into inch-wide strips.
2 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.