Recipe of the Week: Swiss Chard

Today we are going to try swiss Chard. It is one of those vegetables that can be quite daunting if you have never used it - what do you do with it? So this week's recipe is more of suggestion about preparation rather than a firm recipe.

I find that chard has a more delicate taste than spinach and it holds it's shape and colour better in the cooking. You can find regular swiss chard which has a bright red stem or rainbow chard which has red and orange stems.

If you have young chard, by all means cook the stems as well. If the plant is a bit older and the stems are large they can be a bit woody so you should trim them off. With this recipe you can come home from work and have a simple, delicious dinner on the table in less than half an hour.1 bunch swiss chard, carefully washed and roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic - mashed, chopped or minced - this is entirely to your taste
olive oil
1 can beans, drained and rinsed - use navy, black beans or white kidney beans, also your choice
crusty bread
sea salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat oil in pan. Saute garlic until golden. Add chard the saute over medium heat until tender, about 8 minutes.
2. Add beans and heat through.
3. Toast a couple of slices of bread - if you want, rub a clove of garlic over the toast. Pour the chard and beans on the toast and add salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

Of course, you can always soak dry beans over night and then cook them and add to this recipe, but that implies forethought. This is really about getting something nutritious and delicious to the table quickly when you are tired and hungry and are tempted to order take-out. If you can't find chard you can substitute spinach and cook it for less time or kale and cook it for closer to 20 minutes.

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