Seriously Simple: Swiss chard is a versatile vegetable
While others sing the praises of kale, I am a big Swiss chard fan. I find it has a mild, sweeter flavor than other greens. And it’s versatile: I’ll add it to pasta, risotto and soup, and I’ll saute it or braise it with equally delicious results. Like spinach and other greens, it holds a lot of liquid so it’s always good to serve it in a bowl.
Swiss chard stems are a different color than the green leaves and come in a rainbow of colors: white, red, yellow and even pink. Don’t discard them when cooking. Not only do they add an additional layer of texture, but the stems also offer up a colorful dash to your dish. It’s best to cook the stems separately, after thinly slicing them, and adding them back to the greens just before serving.
This Seriously Simple dish provides a colorful alternative side vegetable and can accompany most grilled or roasted entrees. I often rely on this dish as a tasty accompaniment to many meals. This easy version has the addition of rice wine vinegar to provide a slightly sweet yet tart taste. The toasted pine nuts add texture and creaminess.
Sauteed Swiss Chard with Pine Nuts and Rice Wine Vinegar
Serves 4 to 6
1 bunch red or white Swiss chard, rinsed
3 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1. Separate chard leaves from ribs. Chop red or white ribs into 1/4-inch pieces. Immerse ribs in small pan of boiling water and boil 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
2. In a nonstick skillet toast the pine nuts on medium-high heat for a few minutes, tossing constantly, so they are evenly lightly browned. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Reserve.
3. In a large skillet, melt butter on medium heat. Add Swiss chard leaves, tossing them to evenly coat, and saute 1 minute. Tongs are good for this. Cover the pan and steam 3 to 5 minutes over low heat. Mix in cooked ribs. Add vinegar, salt, and pepper. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with pine nuts. Serve immediately.
Advance preparation: This side dish may be prepared up to four hours ahead through Step 2 and kept covered at room temperature.
(Diane Rossen Worthington is an authority on new American cooking. She is the author of 18 cookbooks, including “Seriously Simple Parties,” and a James Beard Award-winning radio show host. You can contact her at www.seriouslysimple.com.)
©2021 Diane Rossen Worthington. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.