Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Sauteed Rainbow Chard

For some reason, my family has always just reached for kale, even though there are so many lovely, really delicious greens available in our local market. I don't know if it's just the familiarity, the trendiness, or the taste. But, recently, I saw the most gorgeous bunch of rainbow chard and I knew I just had to go for it, especially because that Parks & Recreation scene with the Farmers' Market and the 'Chard Bodies' stand is one of my favorites. Luckily, it was a hit.
Ingredients [serves 4 as a side dish]:
1 bunch rainbow chard (1 lb.)
2 oz. salt pork, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup chicken stock

*You can use bacon instead of salt pork. Or, to make this vegan, just use 1 teaspoon oil instead of the pork and vegetable broth instead of chicken stock. Easy.

Chop up the salt pork and mince the garlic.
Start with salt pork in a cold pan and place it over medium heat. Starting in a cold pan and slowly bringing up the temperature will help render the fat out of the pork. Once you see a little fat in the pan, add in the garlic and crushed red pepper flakes. Cook until the garlic is lightly browned.
Meanwhile, chop up the chard into bite-sized pieces. If the stems are really thick and coarse, then chop them off. If they are thin and tender, then leave them alone. The stems are delicious and add a nice crunchy textural element.
Add the chard to the skillet and toss to coat in the fat. Sprinkle in salt and chicken stock and toss until the leaves are wilted and the stems are soft.
Plate up the chard and serve. It's great as a side dish but it's also pretty fantastic on its own. It's spicy and salty and bright and really pretty to look at.
Here's the recipe page:

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