This quick one-pot approach to cooking Swiss chard results in a hearty, flavorful and versatile side dish.
To avoid watery, overcooked chard, we started cooking the greens in a covered pot just until they wilted down. Then we uncovered the pot and continued to cook the greens until all the liquid evaporated.
Cutting the tough stems smaller than the tender leaves meant that we could throw both in the pot at the same time and still get evenly cooked results.
Sautéing plenty of garlic in olive oil before adding the chard gave this simple side a big hit of flavor, while a splash of mild white wine vinegar and red pepper flakes added brightness and subtle heat.
GARLICKY SWISS CHARD
Start to finish: 15 minutes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 pounds Swiss chard, stems chopped fine, leaves sliced into 1/2-inch-wide strips
Salt and pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon white wine vinegar
Cook 2 tablespoons oil and garlic in a Dutch oven over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until garlic is light golden and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
Stir in the chard, 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper flakes. Increase heat to high, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until chard is wilted but still bright green, 2-4 minutes.
Uncover, and continue to cook, stirring often, until liquid evaporates, 4-6 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 97 calories; 66 calories from fat; 7 g fat (1 g saturated, 0 g trans fats); 0 mg cholesterol; 516 mg sodium; 7 g carbohydrate; 3 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 3 g protein.
Variations to try
Garlicky Swiss chard with walnuts and feta: Sprinkle chard with 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese and 1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts before serving.
Garlicky Swiss chard with golden raisins and goat cheese: Add 1/4 cup golden raisins to pot with chard. Sprinkle chard with 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese and 1/4 cup chopped, toasted hazelnuts before serving.
Asian-style Swiss chard: Add 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger to pot with chard. In step three, substitute 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil for olive oil and substitute 4 teaspoons soy sauce for vinegar. Sprinkle chard with 3 tablespoons sliced scallion and 1/4 cup chopped, salted, dry-roasted peanuts before serving.