Braised Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a member of the beet family. It has large green, red-tinged, or rainbow-color crinkly leaves, depending on the variety, and pale green celery-like stalks. The entire leaf and stalk are edible, but the stalks should be cooked longer than the tender leaves. Avoid wilted leaves and bunches with any yellow spots, which are telltale signs of aging. Like other vegetables, try to use Swiss chard the day you buy it, or store it gently wrapped in a clean kitchen towel in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Swiss chard is a cruciferous vegetable and a good source of antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and iron. Your body metabolizes iron better when combined with vitamin C, so try adding a squeeze of fresh lemon or orange juice for a brighter flavor and extra antioxidants.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves local organic garlic, sliced
  • 1 local organic onion, cut into thick ribs, separated
  • 1 bunch local organic Swiss chard, about ¾ pound, well washed and drained, stems separated and cut into ½-inch pieces, and leaves coarsely chopped and stored separately
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed organic orange juice (from about ½ orange)

Method

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and chopped Swiss chard stems. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and pepper. Stir to coat. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring frequently until the stems have softened. Add the chopped Swiss chard leaves and the smoked paprika. Stir well to combine. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring frequently until the leaves are tender to your preference. Stir in the orange juice. Taste for seasonings.

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