Thursday, June 28, 2007

Swiss Chard with Raisins

When my Mom told me that her vegetable garden started sprouting, it reminded me of my childhood when that garden seemed like a vast forest to me. I could get lost in the corn and tomato plants, dig for worms, and eat peas right out of the pod. While recently visiting my parents, I remarked to my father that the garden used to seem so much bigger to me when I was 5 than it does now, as do most things (snowbanks, adults, bumblebees). And then he said, “Don’t tell your mother, but I have been making it smaller and smaller over the years by letting the grass grow in a bit closer each season. It’s easier to take care of, and we always have too much as it is.” So it really was smaller now, but my memories haven’t faded one bit. Especially when it comes to greens. Swiss chard was one of my favorites even when it was boiled beyond belief as many Acadians of that time prepared the chard. I prefer wilting it as I do with spinach, and I think even my Mom would like my version!

Separate the stems from the leaves and slice the stems up. I prefer using my big paella pan so I have lots of room to work in…I added about 2 tbs olive oil to the pan and then the sliced stems. After sautéing for a couple minutes, I added about ¼ cup of raisins and half a cup of chicken broth and a few red pepper flakes with the cover on. After 5 more minutes, I removed the cover, added about 6 quartered mushrooms, a dash of nutmeg, some salt and some Penzey’s garlic powder. After a few more minutes, I added the chopped chard leaves along with 6 chopped basil leaves and then covered the pan and let wilt for 5 more minutes.

I just love how the raisins plump up and cancel out any bitterness in the greens! For next time, I may add some olives for some briny flavor as well!

1 comment:

sher said...

Marvelous! I love using raisins with bitter greens. They're perfect together.