Recipes

Swiss Chard side

My Aunt Mary introduce me to a couple of simple lunches when I was visiting as a child. One of my favourites was Swiss Chard in tomato sauce. Once I started cooking for myself I experimented a little and now have some options. One is a side dish, the other is a light lunch in which  I add some lightly spiced Italian sausage or, for vegetarians,  fava beans. It really is very simple, so here it is.

The basic version: side dish  (serves 2-4)
1 – clove garlic (finely chopped)
2-3  – green onions (finely chopped)
1 – bunch Swiss Chard
1 cup of your favourite tomato sauce ( I make my own – that recipe when the tomatoes are ready)
1/2 cup water or red wine
1 tbsp Olive oil
Herbs to taste (depending on how flavoured your sauce already is): fresh Basil, Parsley, Oregano

Finely chop garlic and onions. Wash and chop Swiss Chard, remove any larger stalks if you like.
Heat olive oil in pan on medium heat, lightly brown garlic and green onions (and fresh herbs as needed).
Once garlic and onions are soft and lightly browned add 1/2 cup of water or wine.
Heat water until lightly simmering then add Swiss Chard; cover and wilt.
Once wilted remove lid and stir occasionally until water is reduced by half.
Then add tomato sauce, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir occasionally.
If it seems too thick add a little more water or wine.

The simmering time for the sauce is really your preference – 15 minutes minimum, but I have left it for over an hour. Just remember to stir occasionally and add more liquid if it starts to thicken too much. (tomato sauce, wine or water)

Serve with focaccia or white crusty bread (you don’t want to let the sauce go to waste).

For the sausage version (serves 2)

Additional ingredient:  2-3 lightly spiced Italian sausages (or 1 cup Fava beans)

Once garlic and onions are soft and lightly browned add sausage (or Fava beans) and cook, turning occasionally.
Once sausage are cooked remove from pan to a cutting board. If there is a lot of oil in the pan, pour off excess. (or once Fava beans are tender proceed to next step no need to remove beans)
Add water and heat until lightly simmering then add Swiss Chard, cover and wilt.
While Swiss Chard is wilting cut sausages into 1/2 inch disks.
Once Swiss Chard is wilted remove lid and stir occasionally, until water is reduced by half.
Then add tomato sauce and sausage pieces, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and stir occasionally.
If it seems too thick add a little more water or wine.

The simmering time for the sauce is really your preference – 15 minutes minimum, but I have left it for over an hour. Just remember to stir occasionally and add more liquid if it starts to thicken too much. (tomato sauce, wine or water).
Serve with focaccia or white crusty bread (you don’t want to let the sauce go to waste).

The wine I use for this is always a Chianti, but a Pinot Noir would work.
Recommended wine pairing:

Castello Di Querceto Chianti Classico 2010

Or if you would prefer something closer to home

Flat Rock Pinot Noir (V) – Twenty Mile Bench Niagara, Ontario

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