Swiss Chard

I've been trying to eat more veggies. Swiss Chard is one that I walked by a million times in the grocery store, because I didn't know what to do with it. I do know that the southern method of cooking greens with bacon will make even bitter collard greens taste good, but this time I'm cooking without bacon. I'm calling this Weeknight Swiss Chard, because it's quick, easy, and not a bit fancy. In fact, it might even be healthy! If you're currently planning a garden, consider planting this lovely vegetable. It grows very nicely.

If you've never tasted chard, I'd say it's more like spinach in flavor than anything else. It acts sort of like spinach, too,

in that you start with a huge amount of greens, thinking you'll never eat it all, but by the time it's cooked, that huge portion is just a little handful.

Chard comes with different colored stems, as you can see in the photo. They're all good, but the ones with yellow and red stems contain more antioxidants, so opt for those if you have a chance. The colorful stems are tougher than the leaves, but very tasty. You just have to cook them a little bit longer.

I use a lot of garlic in this recipe. If you don't already know, the

easiest way to peel garlic is to smack it. Yes, you get to take out your frustrations on that poor, innocent garlic. Lay the blade of your knife flat over the garlic and bang it with the heel of your hand. The peel bursts and can be easily removed.

Swiss Chard

1 bunch Swiss Chard, washed and shaken (I don't dry it. The moisture helps it cook.)

1 - 2 tablespoons olive oil

4 garlic cloves, chopped

salt to taste

1 pan with deep sides and a cover

Place the olive oil and the garlic in the pan over a low temperature. Garlic burns easily. At this point you're really just using the garlic to flavor the oil a bit.

Meanwhile, lay each chard leaf flat and slice out the stem. Cut the stem

into bite-sized pieces and place in a bowl. Slice the leafy part in large chunks and set aside.

When you've cut up all the chard, add the stem portion to the pan, cover and turn the heat to medium. Cook 8 - 10 minutes, or until the stems pieces are soft. Stir occasionally. Add the leafy portion, cover, and cook about 5 more minutes, until wilted and tender. Salt to taste.

cooked red swiss chard

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