Braised Swiss Chard

We have an Earth Box filled with Swiss Chard, that keeps giving, and giving, and giving – so we have the advantage of having fresh greens all year round in Florida, picked on our lanai.  Since it is in the same family as beets, we will often combine beet greens with our fresh Swiss Chard.
I was talking to my friend Sherry today, who is a great vegetable grower in NJ – and she really hasn’t tried growing Swiss chard (this recipe works well with kale or collard greens).  I promised to post this recipe – a quick, delicious way to cook greens.

Ingredients (makes 2-3 servings)

  • 1 bunch Swiss chard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon salted butter
  • 1 leek – well washed; julienned
  • 1 medium tomato, diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (Orvietto, Soave, or Pinot Grigio work well)
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • Juice from 1/2 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  • Thoroughly wash the Swiss chard; drain, and pat dry.  Cut off the ends of the stems, to about 1-2 inches from the greens (if you want to braise longer, the stems can be added).  Roughly chop the Swiss chard.
  • Place the olive oil and butter in a saute pan, and heat over a medium flame until the butter is melted. Add the leek, and saute for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the tomato, a dash of salt and pepper, and saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add the Swiss chard, and stir so that the greens are coated.  Add another dash of salt and pepper; saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add the white wine, and let simmer uncovered for 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth, lemon juice, and sugar.  Cover, and reduce the flame.  Cook for 15 to 20 minutes

There are many variations of this recipe we use.  For some extra texture, add toasted pine nuts, hazelnuts, or almonds just before serving.
We sometimes substitute out the leeks, and use one half diced onion and one clove of garlic per bunch of greens.
Lastly, try frying off some bacon beforehand.  Use about 2 tablespoons of bacon fat instead of the olive oil and butter.  Then, right before serving, add crumbled bacon.
We used this same recipe for dinner guests last week, substituting kale for the Swiss chard – we have our friends loving kale again.

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