Braised Garlic Swiss Chard

29 09 2009

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I love swiss chard.  It’s a popular green in late summer and fall and it makes a great accompaniment to roasted or braised meats. It’s very versatile (see the Swiss Chard Tart recipe I posted last year) but one of my favourite ways to enjoy it is simply braised in butter, garlic and a bit of stock.   It’s simple to put together and only takes a few minutes.  You don’t even have to dry the chard leaves after washing them.

Any kind of swiss chard will work – green, red or rainbow chard.  Bear in mind that when it cooks down, it reduces in volume significantly so you may have to make a double batch if serving a crowd.  This is the perfect side dish to go with Braised Short Ribs, Oven Roasted Prime Rib, grilled steak, roast chicken or pork.

Helpful Tip: Grating garlic cloves on a microplane will mince them quickly and easily without a mess.

Braised Garlic Swiss Chard

Makes 4 small servings

(VEGETARIAN)

  • 1 bunch swiss chard (regular, red or rainbow) – equals about 12 oz. of leaves once the stems are trimmed
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely minced (see helpful tip, above)
  • 1/2 cup beef OR chicken OR vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Trim large stems from the chard.  Rinse the leaves well to ensure they are clean of all dirt and grit.  Set chard leaves aside.
  2. In a large, deep skillet, heat butter on medium until just melted.  Add garlic and cook for about 15 seconds.  Add chard to pan.
  3. Use tongs or a couple of forks to toss the chard in the butter and garlic.  Turn heat to medium-high and add stock.  Cover and simmer for about 5 minutes, until leaves become limp.
  4. Uncover skillet.  Let any remaining liquid cook off on medium-high heat.  Season chard with salt and pepper to taste.  Serve with your favourite dishes.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

 

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Braised Garlic Swiss Chard made with red chard

 

 

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Swiss Chard Tart

7 12 2008

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Swiss chard is a hearty, leafy green that grows well in cooler temperatures.  It’s a member of the beet family and the greens taste similar to spinach.  Chard is packed with vitamins and is a great vegetable to use as a side dish for braised meat dishes.  It appears quite frequently on menus in the Provence area of France, where it is known as blette.  I recently prepared a Provençal-inspired menu and developed this tart as the first course.  It could be prepared as small individual servings or as one large tart.   It also makes a great breakfast dish, served with fresh fruit and pastries.

 

 

The Provencal countryside

The Provencal countryside

Swiss chard can be found at most supermarkets at this time of year.  If you can’t find regular chard (with white stems), you can use red swiss chard which has bright red stems and veins (see photo above).   I was only able to find red chard recently and was worried that it would turn the tart pink.  However, if you trim the stems and remove the large ribs, it works out fine.  If you can’t find chard, substitute fresh spinach.

For the best presentation, use a tart pan with a removable bottom (which are also available in smaller sizes for individual servings).  However, if you don’t have a tart pan, use a regular pie plate.

Swiss Chard Tart (Tourte de Blettes)

Makes one 9″ tart

(VEGETARIAN)

  • 1/2 packaged frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 bunch swiss chard or red swiss chard, stems trimmed and thick ribs cut out
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Roll puff pastry out to fit a 9″ tart pan or pie plate.  Place pastry into pan and crimp edges.  Set aside until ready to use.
  3. In a medium skillet, heat butter until melted.  Add shallot and garlic and sauté on medium heat until tender and translucent, approximately 3 minutes.  Add swiss chard.
  4. Sauté swiss chard until leaves are wilted and tender, approximately 7 minutes.  Add nutmeg and season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and let chard cool for a few minutes.
  5. In a measuring cup, add eggs and whipping cream and stir with a fork until well combined.
  6. Spread sautéed swiss chard over the bottom of the uncooked pastry crust, making sure it’s evenly distributed.  Pour egg/cream mixture over chard.  Top with grated parmesan.
  7. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes or until the pastry is puffed and browned along the edges and the top of the tart is golden.  Cut into slices and serve.

Bon Appétit and Enjoy!

 

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