Simple but delicious: sauteed chard with garlic and toasted almonds. This particular red chard came from my garden, but you could easily use any variety that you find at the farmer’s market. I particularly love the chard with vibrantly colored stems because they’re just so darn beautiful! And who can resist beautiful?
Chard with garlic and toasted almonds
Since greens wilt down so drastically as they cook, I typically use a pot that seems just a little too small. That way, by the time they’ve wilted, they remain somewhat crowded and don’t dry out before they’re done cooking.
- 1 bunch chard
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 Tablespoons raw, whole almonds
- 1 Tablespoon pure olive oil
- kosher salt, to taste
Toast the almonds on a small tray or small oven-proof saute pan at 400ºF for about 10 minutes. They should be barely golden in the center. Cool completely and roughly chop.
Wash the chard and trim off the stems. Slice the stems into 1/4-inch pieces and set aside. Stack the leaves on top of each other and cut them into 1-inch pieces. Set aside.
Place a pot over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the stems and a sprinkle of salt. Saute for about 2 minutes. Then add the chard leaves, a sprinkling of water (maybe a couple teaspoons), and another pinch of salt. Cover and allow the greens to wilt for 1-2 minutes. Lift the lid and stir, then replace the lid and continue to wilt. Depending upon the time of year, chard can take anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes to cook. If the chard is really hardy, you may need a little extra water to help it tenderize. If the chard is tender, you may leave the lid off, allowing the water to evaporate on it’s own. When the chard is nearly ready, push it to one side of the pot and add a few drops of olive oil to the bare spot. Place the minced garlic on the oil and allow it to sit for about 15 seconds, until it becomes aromatic. Stir the garlic into the greens. Taste for salt and add a bit more if necessary.
Remove the chard to a serving platter and top with toasted almonds. Simple and delicious!