April 18, 2010 § 5 Comments
I think the only reason I haven’t died of scurvy yet is the weekly produce market across the street from my office. It’s tempting to just eat cookies all day long, and the produce at the grocery store doesn’t make a compelling case for itself, but this market is a different story. There’s just a couple rows and the variety is limited, but everything is fresh and good and I always end up buying more than I can eat.
This recipe is from a few weeks ago, when I saw an irresistible bunch of rainbow chard. I’ve never seen such a gorgeous vegetable! I talked it up to everyone, although for some reason no one quite shared my enthusiasm for brightly coloured food. The vivid colours didn’t disappoint, though, as this also turned into an incredibly easy and very tasty vegetable dish. I braised the stems and leaves, along with sautéed onions and golden raisins, then sprinkled with toasted pine nuts. It’s a fantastic side dish that’s both delicious and healthy, which is rare for me, and the contrast of textures and sweetness of the raisins makes it a little more interesting than most preparations of chard, which I find can be a bit too virtuous. Sadly the startling colours didn’t persist in the final dish, but I ate it anyhow. And it was good.
Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts – adapted from Epicurious
- 1 1/2 pounds Swiss chard (preferably rainbow or red; from 2 bunches)
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1 cup water
- 1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted
Tear chard leaves from stems, then coarsely chop stems and leaves separately.
Heat oil in a heavy pot over medium heat, and then sauté onion, stirring occasionally, 1 minute. Add chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes. Add raisins and 1/2 cup water and simmer, covered, until stems are softened, about 3 minutes. Add chard leaves and remaining 1/2 cup water and simmer, partially covered, stirring occasionally, until leaves are tender, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve sprinkled with nuts.