Chard is an annual crop widely grown greens around Mediterranean region and is available at its best during summer season from June until November months. Like spinach, chard is very rich in vitamin C, vitamin K and omega 3 fatty acids.
Chard features distinctly large dark-green leaves with prominent petiole well-developed edible stalk. Generally, its leaves are harvested at various stages of maturity. While the whole plant with its tender young leaves can be harvested for salad preparation, individual large-size, mature leaves with slightly tough texture stem may be picked up for sautéing and cooking in dishes. Chard is an extremely perishable leafy vegetable, and for the same reason it should be used as early as possible once harvested.
Swiss Chard with Currants and Pine Nuts
- 3 tablespoons currants, raisins, or golden raisins
- 2 pounds Swiss chard, stemmed and washed in several changes of water, stems diced and set aside
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), minced
- 3 tablespoons pine nuts
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Place the raisins or currants in a bowl and pour on hot water to cover. Soak 10 minutes and drain.
- Fill a bowl with ice water. Bring a large pot of generously salted water to a boil and add the chard. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, until just tender. Transfer to the bowl of ice water and let sit for a few minutes. Drain and squeeze out as much water as you can. Chop coarsely.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick skillet. Add the chard stems and cook 3 to 5 minutes, until tender. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring, until they begin to color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, just until the garlic begins to smell fragrant about 1 minute. Add the chopped greens and raisins or currants and toss together until they are well coated with oil and heated through, 2 to 3 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve, or allow to cool and serve at room temperature.