The Okanagan summer has turned to fall in a matter of a few days. One day it is 37C and then next day it is 12C. Summer has gone undercover. Meanwhile in the garden the Swiss chard has been working overtime! What to do with all that chard? Swiss chard acts like two vegetables in one – the leaves and stems can be used separately or together. Here’s one very simple idea!
Swiss Chard with Slivered Garlic and Hot Peppers
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
2 small dried red chili peppers
1-1/2 pounds Swiss chard
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Warm the olive oil in a large pan with the garlic and chili peppers.
2. Separate chard leaves from the stems. Cut leaves into 2 inch pieces (no need to be too precise about this). Slice the chard stems on the diagonal. Depending on the quality of the stems, you may have to briefly cook them in boiling, salted water for a couple of minutes to make them more tender. Add leaves and stems to the pan with the garlic and chili peppers. Saute to your preferred degree of doneness being careful not to to over cook. The chard should still be bright coloured.
3. Season with salt and pepper. Finish with any full flavoured vinegar (like Italian Plum) or Red Wine vinegar. This dish does not have to be served hot. Serve it at room temperature as a salad.
Next week? Back into the garden as the menu fills with home-grown goodness!