Swiss chard is a healthful, mild green that's generally available from spring through fall. Some hounds like to blanch chard before sautéing or otherwise cooking, while others find chard mild and tender enough that it needs no blanching. If you choose to blanch, put the stems in boiling water and allow it to come back to a boil; after 2 minutes, add the leaves, bring the water back to a boil again, and blanch for 2 minutes more, then drain the chard and rinse with cold water, instructs GretchenS.
shaebones blanches Swiss chard and mixes it with caramelized onions, garlic, and crushed red pepper sautéed in olive oil. "I really love chard in a sweet/savory sort of combo with golden raisins, pine nut, and tomato," says sarahe1. "It is kind of Sicilian-inspired, and totally dynamite with fish!" "I eat it for breakfast at least twice a week," says CarrieWas218, "sautéed with a bit of butter and once wilted, I scramble it with eggs and sometimes a little Parmesan cheese. Great way to get more greens in my diet!"
thursday thinks CHOW's Winter Greens Lasagne is lovely, and prefers to make it with lots of garlic. This Swiss chard, raisin, and pine nut tart is "the absolute best chard recipe I have ever tried," says Isolda. She uses lemon instead of orange in the tart, and replaces the cream with 1/2 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese.
Chard's stems are good eating; slice them as you would celery and start cooking them a few minutes before you add the chopped-up leaves, suggests GretchenS. Or you can remove the stems and save them for a different recipe, says erica, who likes Marcella Hazan's sautéed Swiss chard stalks with olive oil, garlic, and parsley. erica also likes to blanch the stems and stack them in a baking dish with olive oil or butter and grated Parmesan cheese, then bake at 400ºF for about a half hour.
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