Recently, I was lucky enough to be given a large bag of Swiss chard from a friend’s home garden.Frankly, it looked like an unremarkable bagful of large, dark green leaves; some with thick red stems and some light green.
My first inclination was to steam my newly acquired leafy produce, but decided a little research might provide me with a tastier recipe.
I discovered that Swiss chard is not from Switzerland, but hales from the Mediterranean and was very popular in Sicily and Greece. It also can have a variety of colorful stems. The real story about chard, though, is that it is one of the healthiest foods in the world and, as far as I am concerned, is a gardener’s gold treasure!
This lovely vegetable is easy to prepare and is enhanced by Mediterranean-style ingredients.
Swiss Chard with Parmesan
Equal parts real butter and olive oil
1-2 Cloves garlic, minced
2 T chopped red or sweet onion
10 Swiss chard leaves and stems, washed well
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
Grated Parmesan cheese
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the olive oil and mix evenly. Add the minced garlic and sauté gently. Add chopped onion to butter mixture and cook until the garlic is fragrant and slightly soft. Meanwhile, tear the Swiss chard leaves from the stems. Chop the leaves coarsely and set aside. Chop the stems into 1-inch pieces and add to the butter mixture in the pot. Mix well and cook gently while adding the white wine; lower heat and simmer for 5 minutes. When stems are softened, add the chopped chard leaves. Stir gently to coat with the liquid. Leaves are finished cooking when they are wilted and limp. Remove pot from heat. Salt lightly and mix well.
Use tongs to lift serving portions to side plates. Squeeze lemon on top of each serving and garnish generously with freshly grated Parmesan. Serve.