Saturday, June 11, 2011

Braised Rainbow Chard with Cranberries

I love pizza. I really, really do, but when I made the Smitten Kitchen white pizza, it was my second pizza night of the week, so I knew I had to have some greens. I am in love with chard and I'm surprised that this is my first recipe post featuring it. I braise it a lot and mostly make up weird recipes, like a super chard quesadilla that no one but me would like.

Anyway, I starred this recipe before Thanksgiving and didn't integrate it into the dinner. I'm glad it will languish no longer because this is fast, easy, and very, very tasty. I did a half size of the original recipe and it was a good way for three people to get some greens in before pizza.

Braised Rainbow Chard with Cranberries from Serious Eats:

Serves 3 as a side or starter

1 bunch rainbow chard
2 Tb. olive oil, divided
½ medium yellow onion, sliced into half-moons
1 Tb. dried cranberries (I only had the TJ’s orange flavored kind, but it worked)
1 clove garlic, peeled and lightly smashed
¼ c. water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Prepare chard by cutting stem out of center of each leaf. Trim ends of each stem, then cut on bias in 1½” pieces. Tear leaves into 3 or 4 pieces each.

In medium straight-sided sauté pan, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and lower heat to low. Cook, stirring frequently until soft, about 5 minutes. Add cranberries, chard stems only, garlic clove, and water. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, and braise on low heat for 30 minutes.

Once chard stems are tender, remove lid and increase heat to high. Add chard leaves, and use tongs to turn leaves in pan until just wilted, about 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot, drizzled with remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil.

They were earthy, like chard always is, but also tangy and delicious. I was only a little worried that the orange flavored cranberries would detract from the other flavors, but it paired really well. The textural differences also make this a simple, but exciting dish and a great way to start a meal. Seriously. So easy. If you see some gorgeous chard at the market, like I have been, try this one out.

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