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Swiss chard with pine nuts and balsamic butter

August 25, 2010

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Serves 4

Although Susie Middleton suggests Bright Lights Swiss chard, the colorful hybrid that’s become so popular in recent years, you can make this with ordinary green chard.

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
1 large bunch Swiss chard, stemmed (save the stems)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1. In a small bowl, combine the balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, and brown sugar.

2. Cut or rip the Swiss chard leaves into 2- to 3-inch pieces. Wash and dry them well. Rinse the stems and slice them into 1/4-inch pieces.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the peanut oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes or until they’re lightly browned. Watch carefully; they brown quickly. Remove the pan from the heat and use a slotted spoon or spatula to transfer the pine nuts to a plate.

4. Return the pan to the heat, add the chard stems, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir-fry a few seconds.

5. Add the chard leaves and a generous pinch of salt. Using tongs, toss the leaves in the pan for 30 seconds or just until wilted.

6. Scrape the balsamic mixture into the pan, stir well, and remove the pan from the heat.

7. Add the butter and toss until it’s melted. Fold in half the pine nuts. Transfer the chard and all the juices in the pan to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the remaining nuts.

Adapted from “Fast, Fresh & Green’’