Thursday, April 8, 2010

Swiss Chard with Olives and Lemon

For some reason "greens" remind me of these kinds of things:

It must be that slimy seaweedyness.
Growing up we didn't really eat greens. We didn't have to eat Brussels sprouts or lima beans either. They would not be found in our house- they were sort of forbidden by one of my parents, and I'm ok with the lima beans thing (they actually belong on my *list* with Neil Diamond, spiders, and jazz flute- but I like Brussels sprouts).

No, really, greens aren't all that bad. They don't terrorize. That would be tomatoes.

If you have not seen this movie, I can safely say it is to some extent a "bad" movie, but it's great at the same time. It's definitely interesting (and it's amazing how special effects have changed). The suspense just kills me.

Technically you can get chard year-round, but it's "season" is in the summer.
More than just "green," rainbow chard has stems with great colors that are a nice contrast to the green leaves. I don't know if there's a more colorful vegetable. I don't know if I have ever seen anything labeled as "Swiss" chard at any of the stores I've bought chard from. I've only ever used rainbow chard.

Oil-cured olives are a little different than the brined varieties. They are generally dried in salt and then rehydrated in olive oil. They're not smooth and glossy, but wrinkled and not a bitter as brined olives.

If you don't have an olive pitter, no problem. The easiest way to pit an olive is to crush it with the side of the knife until you feel it crack under the pressure (just like crushing garlic). Then all you have to do is just slide the pit out of the olive.

Swiss Chard with Olives and Lemon
Adapted from Bon Appetit, March, 2010
8 servings

3 large bunches of chard (about 2 1/4 pounds)
5 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 c quartered, pitted oil-cured black olives
3 garlic cloves, crushed and given a rough chop
1 T fresh lemon juice
zest from 1/2 lemon
kosher salt
fresh ground black pepper

Cut stem from center of each chard leaf. Slice stem crosswise into 1/2 inch pieces; place stem in medium bowl. Cut leaves crosswise into approximately 1 1/2 inch wide strips.
Bring large pot of salted water to boil and salt generously. Add chard stems and cook until just tender, 3-4 minutes. Add chard leaves and cook until just tender, about 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain in large colander, pressing out any water.
(Can be made 2 hours ahead- let stand at room temperature in colander)

Heat 4 T olive oil in large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and saute about a minute. Add olives and saute about a minute more until fragrant. Add chard and stems to garlic oil. Toss until heated through and any remaining water evaporates, about 4 minutes. Mix in lemon juice, lemon zest, and remaining 1 T oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer to bowl and serve.


  1. Isn't the Swiss Chard beautifuL?

  2. So... I wanted to make this beautiful dish... but I guess I didn't read the instructions well enough, I didn't realize the video was just a joke!!! I thought the only way to get the chard was from the seamonster... so I went down to the Mississippi River with my goggles on and jumped in... I must've spent three hours looking for the monster to get the seaweed off of him when the police came and arrested me... finally I called my husband who came down and bailed me out of the slammer.

    I'm starting to have second thoughts about this blog, I mean honestly, can't you put a disclaimer up when you are trying to make a joke... some of this stuff ust goes right over my head! needless to say, it was another carry-out dinner night.


  3. What can I say?
    I am currently unaware of any monsters in the Mississippi. We can be almost certain of Nepal, Canada, Japan, Jurassic Park, and Scotland- but not the Mississippi River at this time.
    I think the monster in the video is from the Amazon. The Mississippi is too cold- come on, it SHOULD be too cold for YOU at the beginning of April.
    Well, I hope you were a little more protected than just goggles. Full SCUBA gear would be recommended in this instance. I hear the Mississippi is pretty toxic. Did you swallow any water?
    It's good you have a husband who'll come help you out like that. Muffin would not suffice in this instance. I would assume Muffin can't drive as Muffin is obviously not Toonces.
    I can give you one tip: the recipe is at the end of the post and it's in bold script.