Swiss chard always has been a mystery to me, taking the line behind collard greens and kale, both of which I’m much more familiar with.
But walking by the produce aisle at Roth’s Vista store the other day, I was stopped dead in my tracks by these beautiful specimens in the organic section, beaming like rainbows with their brightly colored stems jumping from verdant green leaves.
The rainbow Swiss chard was too appealing to pass up. And as I was stuffing a couple of bunches into bags, I noticed some equally appealing rainbow carrots in the shelf below, so I grabbed a bunch of those as well.
It seemed fitting to bring some bright color to the dinner table since there was a feeling of spring in the air with the mild weather lately.
When using the rainbow chard, don’t discard the stems as you would with kale or collards; they can be cooked in salted water along with the carrots for about 4 minutes and then drained and shocked in cold water to retain their vibrant colors. Simply dress the stems in a vinaigrette and serve as a side dish.
For the leaves, I coarsely chopped them and then sauteed some crushed garlic in olive oil before dumping the leaves in the pan to sauté until just wilted. I then sprinkle some balsamic vinegar to finish and serve.
Blanched Rainbow Swiss Chard and carrots in Champagne Vinaigrette
- 2 bunches of rainbow Swiss chard, rinsed and stems separated from leaves and sliced into long pieces
- 1 bunch rainbow carrots, tops removed, rinsed and scrubbed
- 4 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Place carrots and chard stems in a saucepan along with enough water to cover and a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil and cook for 4 minutes. Drain and shock the chard stems and carrots in ice-cold water to retain their color vibrancy. Drain and set aside.
- In a small pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and sauté the garlic until golden. Turn off the flame and add salt and Champagne vinegar and mix. Pour over chard and carrots, and toss to evenly coat. Plate and serve.
Swiss Chard Sautéed in Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 cloves peeled and crushed garlic
- Leaves from 2 bunches of Swiss chard, rinsed and coarsely chopped
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in a large pan or wok. Add garlic, and sauté until golden. Add chard leaves, and toss until wilted. Turn off heat, and add balsamic vinegar and toss to evenly coat. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.