Both our parents worked, so there was no veggie garden in the back yard and the only farmers' market nearby was the Japanese market on the way to the beach where we would buy strawberries in the spring and corn during summer. And, of course, we had those country green beans that were cooked all day. Yum! But chard? What was that?
I didn't know anything about chard until a few years ago and I didn't eat it until last week. What can I say? I was a deprived child! I don't have chard in my garden yet, but when it's time to plant cool weather veggies in the Growing Dome, you can bet I will. Kale is growing in the dome right now, but kale is for another post.
Anyway, the rainbow chard at the healthy foods market in Taos was so pretty I bought some. MBB eats that stuff all the time and I hate when my kid is one up on me, and it is well known that chard is a nutritional powerhouse full of antioxidants and vitamins, so sign me up.
Plus, isn't this chard pretty?
It reminds me of spinach, so after reading around a bit and also remembering how my dad made our canned spinach palatable by adding a few drops of vinegar, I came up with this recipe.
Sauteed Chard With Garlic and Balsamic Vinegar
2 T olive oil
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 washed bunch of chard, leaves stripped from the stalks, cut into wide strips (I chopped the stalks to use for soup)
2 T balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil.
2. When the olive oil is shimmery, add the chard.
3. Using tongs to turn the chard in the pan, cook for about five minutes until the chard is almost wilted. Add the chopped garlic to the pan.
Below is the garlic in my favorite chopper, the Garlic Zoom. The photo after that shows the chard and garlic hanging out.
4. Once you've added the garlic, cook for a minute or two more and then add the balsamic vinegar. Toss it around so the chard is coated with the vinegar. (Don't cook too long or the chard will look like elephant snot.) Add some salt and pepper to taste.
And that's it!
Optional: Toast a couple tablespoons of pine nuts and sprinkle them on top.
I can't believe how much I liked chard after eating this! What in the world was I waiting for?