It’s easy to assume that folks who love food eat wonderfully rich, complex, and exotic foods all the time. After all, even your Facebook friends post pics of the fanciful foods they’re currently eating and the likes of Anthony Bourdain, Mike Colameco, and Guy Fieri eat luscious plates of roasted meats, glistening noodles, and fried delicacies like it’s the end of the world. However, the truth of the matter is that what it means to eat well and like an Italian is firmly situated in the realm of eating simply. And swiss chard (and broad speaking, vegetables) represents simple Italian food at its finest.
Specifically, one of the best representations of eating simple food is the leafy vegetable. For me, escarole, collard greens, dandelions, and chard are ideal food sources which are satisfying and filling.
For the Love of Swiss Chard
Swiss chard is a particular favorite of mine given it’s complex flavor and texture, not to mention its nutritional value (which according to WHFoods.com is second only to spinach and, by the way, how most Italians prepare and use swiss chard <viz., like spinach!>). My favorite way to prepare Swiss chard is via a method I like to call the sudo-boil (which is basically steaming the green with a bit of water in a large sauté pan and thereafter adding olive oil, freshly ground black pepper, and Kosher salt). You could also add a thinly sliced potatoes and increase the amount of cooking time (this is a favorite dish among Calabrians).
- Bunch of swiss chard
- 2 cloves of garlic
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Olive oil
- Wash the chard well and cut into 2-3 inch pieces (use the entire stalk). In a large pan add the chard and a bit of water, cover with a lid and cook for 5-10 minutes. Remove the liquid and chard from the pan and add the finely diced garlic and olive oil; cook for 3-5 minutes over a medium flame. Add the chard and liquid back to the pan and mix well. Serve immediately.