My mom made swiss chard all the time, so for me it is a familiar vegetable though I recently realized many have never heard of swiss chard.
Swiss chard is a green leafy vegetable originating in the Mediterranean (some sources say Sicily, maybe that's why my mom always made it - her family was from Sicily).
The Swiss Chard belongs to the beet family and in different geographic areas may be called silver chard, silver beet, seakale beet, leaf beat, or spinach chard. This leafy green vegetable can be found with bright colored stems that can be either red, yellow or orange.
An important fact we should not ignore is this rich leafy green vegetable is high in phytonutrients, as well as a rich source of minerals and vitamins, including Vitamin K. It should be noted that because of the vitamin K those who take anticoagulant type drugs (i.e., coumadin/warfarin) should be cautious about eating foods high in Vitamin K.
If you are new to swiss chard the flavor profile is mild though it has an earthiness to it. Some also compare it to fresh picked from the farmer's market spinach.
This simple to prepare dish is my mom's swiss chard with pasta (surprise!!!) recipe that I just luv and always make. It is easy and ready in less than 30 minutes -- it just takes a few extra minutes to clean the swiss chard. You can clean the swiss chard earlier in the day for a head start when you are ready to get dinner started.
One of my healthy tips for this dish is to use an alternative pasta. Hey, I'm a pasta lover, it's in my genes, but those carbs are just not what we need so I recently started using Dreamfields brand pasta.
My sister the cook tried it first and thought it was an excellent alternative to the high carb regular pasta. She said I should try it, so I did and didn't tell anyone else they were eating a healthy alternative to pasta. And would you believe they never even noticed a difference!!!!!
If you are trying to reduce the starchy carbs do give this pasta a try. If fussy grampy didn't notice a difference, then you all should give it a try -- you'll be glad you did.
To prepare for this dish:
- clean and rinse the swiss chard thoroughly in cold water to remove the loose sand
- cut the stems in 1" pieces and then remove the leaves from the stems and cut them in a rough chop. The swiss chard cooks down just like spinach, so don't worry if you think you have too much chard.
- This recipe makes enough to serve 3 or 4 adults, depending on how much pasta you like.
- 1 large bunch of swiss chard, cleaned and cut
- 1 lb. pasta (your choice penne or spaghetti) (I use Dreamfields brand)
- 1 large shallot chopped
- 1-2 TBLS. olive oil
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- parmigiano reggiano shaved slices or grated (optional)
- Fill a pot with water and set over medium heat to boil for the pasta.
- Heat oil in sauce pan and saute the shallots until wilted. Add in the chopped swiss chard and stir until well combined with the shallots then add in the vegetable broth. Cover and simmer gently for 10-12 minutes, season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Cook the pasta in the boiling water according to directions while the swiss chard is simmering.
- Drain (save a little of the water) the pasta and add it to the cooked swiss chard and stir until well combined. If too dry you can add a little of the pasta water.
- Add shaved parmigiano reggiano cheese on each plate and serve.
I also made a swiss chard salad which I will post soon.
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