Sautéed Rainbow Swiss Chard

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

My CSA is in full swing now, I love getting fresh vegetables over the summer directly from the farmers that grow them. Unlike a farmer's market, you pay for your CSA share in full at the beginning of the season and every week you receive whatever the farmers harvest over the week.

That only means one thing for me: a mystery box of vegetables full of veggies I would never usually buy myself.
I'll admit this time and time again on this blog - as a food blogger, I am unusually unadventurous about my food. First, I have what I like to call a fruit-phobia, which is basically my fear of eating fruits that have an unknown texture or sourness. Not sure what it is, but my parents must have fed me gross mushy non-sweet fruit as a child because until very recently, I didn't even eat blueberries that weren't baked into a muffin.

While my phobia for fruits doesn't really extend to vegetables, I do a pretty good job of avoiding trying to cook vegetables that is a tad unfamiliar to me. So that's where the CSA comes to the rescue to test my limits, and this week, my limit is this beautiful rainbow chard.
First, I'm just in awe of just how beautiful and vibrant these are. I just couldn't help but to put the stems into a hipster mason jar full of water just to see how it would photograph. Quite stunning I'd say - this is the classy adult version of playing with your food. ;)

With vegetables this fresh, I usually like to take the approach of less is more so in this iteration of me trying rainbow swiss chard is by sautéing it with some olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes and topping it with a dab of butter and topped with fleur de sel since I'm feeling extra fancy today.

After discarding the toughest part of the stem on the bottom, I cut the rest of the stems into small pieces and the leaves into thin ribbons. This simple preparation of rainbow chard got me completely addicted. Unlike other chard I've had before, this rainbow chard from the CSA was so sweet with a bit of bite to it - I'm officially addicted and can't wait to see if my next mystery box comes with this vibrant leafy vegetable!


P.S. It's great as breakfast too, served here with scrambled egg whites with a yolk cracked in and chicken sausage from Trader Joe's.

Sautéed Rainbow Swiss Chard 

Serves 2
1 large bunch of fresh Swiss chard
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
dash of red pepper flakes
salt (fleur de sel!) to taste
1 teaspoon of butter (optional)
squeeze of lemon (if you have it)

1. Prepare swiss chard. Wash your chard in cold water then remove the toughest part of your stem - depending on your chard, perhaps 1 inch of the bottom. Remove the rest of the stem from the leaf and cut stems into small quarter-inch pieces. Cut leaves into thin ribbons.

2. Sauté chard. In a large pan, put pan on medium heat. Once hot, add olive oil, garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until garlic is fragrant, but not burnt, about a minute. Add chard, salt, and water, then cover pan. In about 2-3 minutes, give the pan a good shake to move the leaves around so it cooks more evenly. If the chard looks dry, add another tablespoon of water. Cook for another 3 minutes to see if all the leaves cooked down. Be careful of overcooking your chard or else the color of your veggies will be less vibrant. Once it's cooked to the desired amount, finish the pan with your optional butter. Melt it down and turn off the heat.

3. Add lemon, optional. If you have it, give a squeeze of lemon over the rainbow chard. This gives a bit of brightness to the dish. Plate & serve!

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