Swiss Chard is one of the most nutritious greens you can find year-round. It is related to beets – in fact, beet greens taste very similar to Swiss chard. Do eat your dark green leafy vegetables regularly as they are among the most nutrient-dense foods you can choose. Traditional Chinese Medicine considers green to be the master color, and I think it is the color that should dominate our diet. Like other green leafies, Swiss chard is full of Calcium, Magnesium, Iron, Folate, Vitamin C and Carotenoids, with few calories – a nutritional bargain!
My maternal grandmother was Sicilian and she used to make this dish with raisins. One night, this was on the dinner menu and I went to the pantry to reach for raisins and we were out. Gasp. But we had dried apricots. So I soaked a handful of apricots to plump them up a bit and presto, I liked the dish better! If your kids are not fond of greens yet, try this recipe with their favorite dried fruit.
Heck, let them put a few chocolate chips on the chard if it will get them to eat their greens. One step at a time … soon chard might be a staple in your kitchen, too.
- ⅓ cup unsulphured dried apricots (about 10)
- 2 bunches Swiss chard, (about 2 pounds), washed but not dried
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 3 Tablespoons unrefined, cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
- Optional: best quality balsamic vinegar for drizzling
- Place the dried apricots in a bowl with hot water to cover. Soak 10 minutes and drain. Chop coarsely or slice into slivers.
- Separate the Swiss chard stems from the leaves. Dice the stems and keep separate. Coarsely chop the leaves.
- Heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and cook for 1 minute. Add the chard stems and cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly tender, about 3 minutes. Add the chopped chard leaves and apricots. Lightly season with sea salt and pepper and sauté until the leaves are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Sprinkle with pine nuts and serve immediately or at room temperature. You can also drizzle a few drops of balsamic vinegar, if desired.