This is a really nutritious green vegetable and unlike kale, rapini and collard green, it is tender, exquisite and quick to prepare. The green is not really Swiss, it was just called that originally to distinguish it from French Spinach. Not a very good explanation as chard, actually a member of the beet family, grows well in all Mediterranean countries. The fact that chard belongs to the beet family, a root vegetable, might explain why my grand-mother would cook only the white stems and give the greens to the chicken. I certainly would not do that, mind you I don’t have chickens.
The chard I buy at the Root Cellar is , although very fresh, quite mature and the stems are a bit hard. I therefore separate the greens, and cut the stems (especially the red ones) in 2 inch pieces to boil about 5 minutes in a little salt water. When the water has evaporated, I add two crushed cloves of garlic and a good size chunk of butter and sauté this with the greens for another 7-10 minutes. Don’t overcook! No need to add anything else, the flavour is delicate but perfect without other spices. Tonight I served this with a roast chicken, left-over gratin dauphinois and sauteed Hedgehog mushrooms we picked yesterday (yes Jan 15th) in between snow patches in woods close to Victoria.
YUM! The tough looking red bottoms of these have scared me a bit. However, my iron is running low again and this veggie was suggested! You are just in time to show me how to begin to cook a new thing, until I feel comfy messing with it myself! Do the greens stay a brighter green or do they go to the dark? And, is that color shift my indicator of overcooking?
Hi Elisa, Yes the red chards are tougher, which is why I boil the stems a bit to tenderize them. The white chards are better but not always available and I must say the red ones have that incredible look.
As to the greens, they do shift a bit in color like spinach. They are not so good when they are “rare”, they are bitter when they are not cooked enough. So not much you can do about the colour shift. (except salt and if you wish a tiny pinch of baking soda!).
Thank you! The store today had red and white organic types!