Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Swiss Chard and Potatoes

     Please don't tell me you've never tried Swiss chard. If you have, stop reading. But if you haven't, read on. I know a lot of people haven't because when I tell them about my Mom's Swiss chard and potatoes they cock their head, give me a funny look and say "what's Swiss chard?".

     Well, since you asked, I'll tell you. Swiss card is only one of the most delicious and beneficial greens on the market. It's in the beet family although the roots are not eaten. You can use it in any dish that you would use spinach or beet greens. It's available almost year round, but particularly sweet in the cooler months. It's readily available and easy to grow if you have a vegetable plot. Fresh young chard can be eaten raw. It's a powerhouse of nutrients, an excellent source of vitamins A, K, C and E as well as calcium, potassium, iron and magnesium. 
     Add potatoes and you have the easiest most nutritious dish ever. This is a very simple thing to make! I mean the ratio of easy to good-for-you is simply off the charts. Factor in the deliciousness and you have yourself a dinner worth telling everyone about.

Swiss Chard and Potatoes

1 lb Swiss chard
2 medium yukon gold potatoes
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 Tablespoon olive oil
kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
more olive oil
squirt of lemon

Bring 1 1/2  cups of water to boil in a 4 quart pot. Add peeled garlic, a bit of salt and olive oil. Trim the stems of the chard, and check for any leaves that aren't bright and perky. Rinse well, chard can be very gritty and you don't want any of this in your dish. While the chard is draining, wash and cut the potatoes. For a medium size spud you'll get about 16 pieces. Add the cut potatoes to the pot. Rough chop the card. If the stems are large, cut them into smaller pieces. The idea here is for everything to cook at the same time. Put the chard on top of the potatoes, cover the pot and turn the heat to medium low. Simmer for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the chard is nicely wilted and the potatoes are tender. Drain any cooking liquid left over, it will be a deep red color, but don't discard it. It's delicious and of course is loaded with all the good stuff that's in the chard. I usually eat this in a large soup  bowl so I can slurp on the juices. If not, I freeze it and use it as a vegetable stock for soups and stews. Adjust the seasoning and add a glug of olive oil or a squirt of lemon if you're so inclined. Serves 4.

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