We grew up next door to an elderly couple, the Coles. Mr. Cole had converted most of his very large back yard into a year round producing garden. I think they realized that although we were a big active family with “always room for one more”, that our parents needed to be very thrifty to keep it all afloat. We were the oft recipients of armfuls of produce. 1# tomatoes, lettuce, beans, cucumbers, corn, lettuce, squash and chard would all make their way to our table. He also gave us heaps of kale, which I’m no longer very fond of. Kale is the new super food. Just to let you know, it was a super food in the 50’s, too.
Swiss chard was one of my favourite veg to grow, as it is beautiful in a garden. The multi-coloured stalks with its deep green, glossy leaves make a fabulous backdrop for other plants. Now I buy it from the farmers market. In bundles! This is my version of a basic French recipe. It will make enough for 2 – 4 servings, depending on how big you want the servings!
1 bunch Swiss chard
3 T butter
1 T olive oil
1 T sugar
¼ c dried cranberries (or you could use sultanas)
2 T pine nuts, chopped pistachios, or chopped hazelnuts
Cut away the stems from the Swiss chard. Reserve for another use.
Bundle up the leaves lengthwise (along the stems)
Crosscut into 1 – 1½” pieces.
Wash and drain thoroughly (I use a salad spinner)
In a skillet large enough to hold all of the Swiss chard, melt the butter with the oil over med high heat until sizzling.
Add in the sugar just until it starts to change colour, maybe 1 minute.
Add in the Swiss chard and stir to coat the chard.
Continue cooking until the chard has wilted to about half its volume, another minute or two.
Add in the fruit and stir.
Add in the nuts and stir.
The cooking process takes about 4 minutes.
To make a lovely presentation, cook 2” Delicata squash rings in the oven until tender. Remember to leave on the rind, as it is edible, and becomes tender when cooked.