Here is an early picture of my Bright Lights Swiss Chard. I have found Swiss Chard to be very hardy. It grows practically all winter in my garden. This little bed is next to the house which I suspect protects it some, but it really likes the cool weather. Last year I planted transplants, but this year I tried seeds. I read that if you plant them close together, then you can just harvest the leaves and they will keep producing. Sounded good to me.
I just love the colors of the stems. They are red or orange or light yellow. I have even planted a few in the flower bed for some color this winter.
I realized after looking back at my posts, there has only been “from garden” not so much “to table”. So I am remedying this oversight right here. This is a recipe I just love for swiss chard, because it uses both the stems and leaves. It also received a thumbs up from my son who isn’t that crazy about green vegetables.
This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart’s Everyday Food magazine Oct. 2006.
Sauteed Swiss Chard with Raisins and Pine Nuts
2 bunches Swiss chard (about 11/2 lbs. total) stalks cut crosswise into 1-inch pieces, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces (keep stalks and leaves separate)
2 tablespoons pine nuts (I used pecans)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tsp. sugar (optional) I added this
- coarse salt and pepper
Wash chard leaving some water clinging to the stalks and leaves; set aside. In a large saucepan with a lid, toast the pine nuts over medium-high heat, shaking pan to brown evenly, 2 to 4 minutes. Remove from pan; set aside.
In same saucepan, heat oil over medium-high. Add stalks, and cook until beginning to soften, about 4 minutes. Add leaves, raisins and garlic. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook until tender, 6 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Pull lid back slightly, and tilt pan to pour off water. Stir in vinegar and pine nuts; season with salt and pepper. Serves 4.