Swiss chard has a permanent spot in my garden and kitchen. I love going out to the garden and seeing those playful rainbow-colored stems peeking out of the coffee-colored mulch. What I really love are the fresh and delicious leaves. Swiss chard adds a buttery bite to so many different dishes— from winter braises to summer smoothies. This simple sauté is a great way to incorporate chard into a variety of easy and tasty dishes.
I’ll toss this simple sauté with soba noodles or pasta, stuff it in an omelet, or use it as a nest for roasted chicken or fish. Often, I’ll just fry an egg and slap it over the top. In Thailand I learned that anything with a fried egg over the top was called “special.”
I love to garnish this sauté with feta, the creamy cheese is a perfect match for the chard.
Two Minute Swiss Chard Sauté
(OK, so the prep time is five minutes max, but cook time really is two minutes)
For this sauté, I primarily use just the leaves, but a few rogue stems always end up in the mix and add such great texture and crunch to the dish.
8 cups Swiss chard stems removed, rough chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
1 Chile de Arbol* or 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
*Chile de Arbol is a dried chile that you can find in most Mexican food sections of your grocery store. It adds great flavor and spice. I remove the top stem portion and then just crumble it using my fingers.
Prep all of your ingredients and place a large skillet on medium-high heat. Let your skillet sit on the stove and heat up (Note: this is the perfect time to pour yourself a glass of wine).
Next, add the olive oil to the pan with the chile (or red pepper flakes) and garlic, and cook until fragrant (about 1 minute). Scatter chopped chard leaves on top of hot oil. After about a minute, using tongs, turn the leaves until just wilted. Sprinkle with teaspoon salt. Turn off the heat and continue turning with the tongs. The chard will continue to cook as you turn the leaves. Toss into cooked pasta, serve on the side, with eggs, etc….