I am not a vegetarian (as obviously witnessed by the above ham sandwich), and I don’t get all that excited about vegetables. Yes they’re good and good for you, but they don’t entice the same love that I give to..oh say…a perfectly cooked steak. And while the above Swiss chard is not on the same wavelength as a perfectly cooked steak, it is mighty fine. Seriously good.
Last week, while menu planning, I pulled out The Food Matters Cookbook: 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Livingfrom Mark Bittman. I had impulsively bought some Swiss chard from the grocery store (rarely do I impulse buy), and his recipe sounded interesting. What kind of threw me was the red wine. Red wine with Swiss chard? It didn’t sound like something I would like, and I was even filling up the measuring cup with water, when I decided to trust Mr. Bittman. I should have never doubted him. This was wonderful. I even took the leftovers for lunch the next day, served at room temperature, they were great. I could have made a meal of this alone. Really. That good.
Garlicky Swiss Chard with Olives and Pine Nuts
- 11⁄2 pounds chard
- 1⁄4 cup pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 6 garlic cloves, sliced, or to taste
- 1⁄3 cup good-quality black or green olives, pitted and chopped
- 1⁄2 cup red wine or water
- Salt and black pepper
1. Cut the leaves from the stems of the chard. Cut the leaves into wide ribbons and slice the stems (on the diagonal if you like); keep the leaves and stems separate.
2. Put the pine nuts in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the nuts, shaking the pan and stirring often, until just starting to turn golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the nuts from the pan. Put the oil in the skillet and heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, golden, and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
3. Turn the heat to medium and stir in the chard stems and olives. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the stems soften a bit, just a minute or 2. Add the chard leaves, wine, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the chard leaves are wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.
This will be my entry for Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum!