The big mistake people make with chard is cooking the stems and leaves together or — worse — discarding the stems altogether. As you can see in this recipe, we separate the leaves from the meaty stems, blanch them separately (the stems need to cook longer), and then saute them together quickly for the finished dish.
Lately I’ve seen something called “rainbow chard” — yellow, pink, purple — at the market. The usual red and green varieties have beauty and flavor in abundance, and I recommend you stick with those, as we do at Craft.—Tom Colicchio
2 pounds Swiss chard
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, peeled and sliced
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Trim any discolored stems or leaves from the chard. Separate the leaves from the stems then wash both in several changes of water. Cut the stems into 2 1/2-inch pieces. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat.
2. Blanch the leaves (plunge them into the water; remove them with a slotted spoon as soon as the water returns to a boil), refresh them in ice water, then blot dry with a clean towel.
3. Add the stems and cook until they are almost tender, about 3 minutes. Drain the stems, then refresh them in ice water. Set aside with the leaves.
4. Combine the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet and warm over low heat. When the garlic begins to color add the chard leaves and stems. Warm the chard in the garlic-infused oil just until it is tender, about 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper and serve.
Recipe © 2003 Tom Colicchio. All rights reserved.