Side Dishes

Sauteed Rainbow Chard Ribbons (aka Embrace the Leafy Greens. Embrace them!)

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The first kale and rainbow chard at the farm have just gotten mature enough to harvest, so the last couple of days I’ve been feasting on salads and stir-fried greens instead of asparagus and…asparagus. It’s a lovely change of pace. I recently wrote a post on my favorite way to cook leafy greens, The Kale Converter, so I’m considering this a continuation of that tutorial, in which I’ll offer up a chard variation on the method and show you some pretty pictures.

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The haul of emerald gems above is (from left to right) young garlic, kale, green onions, and rainbow chard. Oh, summer. You are magnificent. First up was the rainbow chard, which I actually cooked a little while ago when we thinned the bed. But sun + rain + time matured these treasures right up, so they needed a slightly different treatment. Yes, you guessed it. The CHIFFONADE! Rainbow Chard goes especially well with garlic, butter, and lemon juice. Exceptionally so, in fact. Chard is also more delicate than kale, requiring less cooking time and less liquid to help it along.

Sauteed Rainbow Ribbons with Garlic

  • 1 bunch of rainbow chard
  • 2-3 garlic cloves (or one big stalk of young garlic if you’re lucky)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • squeeze of fresh lemon juice

1. Separate the leaves from the ribs of the chard with a sharp knife. Chop the ribs into small pieces and chiffonade the leaves. I love the way rainbow chard rolls up and slices. I would actually argue it’s the easiest and prettiest green to cook this way. Can you tell I have a bit of a bias for chard? It’s the colors. I’m distracted by pretty things.

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2. Mince your garlic cloves and heat a skillet up. Melt the butter in the bottom of the pan and add the garlic and chopped ribs, along with a dash of pepper and a pinch of salt. Allow to cook until softened, about 2-3 minutes.

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3. Toss your rainbow ribbons on top and move the ribs and garlic to the top of the pile, cooking and wilting the greens in the process. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring occasionally, then add the tiniest splash of liquid (a tbsp of water or stock or white wine is perfect) and allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes. When the liquid has cooked off and the greens are a bright, rich green, remove to a bowl. To make everything pop and add some acidic brightness, squeeze a lemon wedge over the ribbons right before serving.

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