I realized I left many of you hanging this weekend after talking so much about chard without giving you my favorite recipe. Chard is a regular in my weekly meals because it is delicious, inexpensive and usually available year round. But this time of year, it shouldn’t be missed.
This recipe is a true crowd pleaser–I’ve won over more than a few self-proclaimed chard haters with it.
When older and larger, chard can sometimes take on a slightly bitter quality (not a problem this time of year). In this recipe I cut the bitterness with fresh mint, which brightens the dish in a subtle yet surprising way. I also add pistachio nuts to give the dish a pleasant crunch.
I love this dish with eggs or as an accompaniment to beans or lentils.
Swiss Chard With Pistachios And Mint
Makes 2-3 side dishes
- One bunch Swiss chard, any color
- One shallot or leek
- 1/4 cup pistachio nut meats
- About 12 fresh mint leaves
- 1-2 tbsp olive oil
To start, dice a small mild onion such as a shallot, leek or ciopollini. If you use a leek be sure to clean it well and remove all the trapped dirt between the leaves.
Next slice a large handful of mint leaves. Leaves such as mint and basil are easiest to cut if you chiffonade them by stacking the leaves on top of each other and rolling them lengthwise like a cigarette. From there they are easy to cut into thin strips. Set the mint aside.
Clean your chard. If the stems are very thick (which they often are) you may want to remove them from the leaves. After removing the stems, cut the chard leaves into 1 inch squares. If you want to include some stem in your dish for color and texture, cut them in half and add them to the pan a few minutes before the leaves so they soften and are easier to eat.
Heat olive oil over medium-high heat until it swirls easily in the pan. Add onion, pistachio nuts and chard stems and sauté until the onion is soft and starts to brown slightly.
Add chard leaves and stir to coat in oil. Gently sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cover for 1-2 minutes, allowing the chard to wilt. Uncover, stir and continue to cook until chard is dark green and the stems are tender, about 8 minutes.
Sprinkle mint over the chard and stir. Continue cooking another 1-2 minutes. Adjust salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
Have you ever tried chard with mint?
Recipe was originally published August 17, 2008, but has been much improved.