Thursday, July 18, 2013

Lemon Swiss Chard With Elephant Garlic

Rhubarb Swiss Chard
Inspiration in the kitchen is a wonderful thing when it brings success and last night was a big success with some Swiss Chard.  So here's the latest recipe from my inspired kitchen.  

A good friend had given us a generous bag full of beautiful Swiss Chard that I had been using in salads this week.  But that bag was taking up too much room in the fridge so it was time to cook it up.  I had no idea how I was going to cook it but I just knew it would make the perfect side dish for the fish and potatoes I was planning for dinner.

Being someone who does more cooking by the seat of my pants than from recipes I blew off looking for a recipe and just began tossing things I had into the pan.  I had just finished prepping the fish for the oven and had some left over lemon zest on the cutting board that was making my mouth water so I decided to use it in the chard. 
The Elephant Garlic at harvest time
I have had elephant garlic sitting next to the stove for months, literally months, it is from last year's harvest, and because of my neglect it was almost jumping up and down on the counter like a child with it's hand raised saying "Pick me, pick me!"  Well it sort of was, but it was more likely the guilt of having not used it that was talking. 

By the way, is it just me or does anyone else have this happen; you get into the kitchen not knowing how you will prepare something and suddenly it is as if ingredients almost seem to speak to you, igniting inspiration to the point of being able to taste how things will turn out?  I swear that is exactly what it felt like was happening last night and the results were fabulous!  I absolutely loved how the fresh lemon zest gave this dish a really refreshing flavor.  The fact that the chard is much milder in flavor than spinach made it all the more perfect.

Lemon Swiss Chard with Elephant Garlic

You need enough Swiss Chard leaves with the midrib removed to fill a stock pot or dutch oven.

In the bottom of the pan place the following and heat to a simmer.
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon zest (or half of the zest of a whole lemon)
1 cloves elephant garlic sliced thin
2 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1/2 cup water
Next add the Swiss Chard...Sprinkle with kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste.   Keep in mind you can always add more later so don't put in too much.

Place the lid on the pot and cook on medium, turning every so often cooking until nicely wilted but still bright green.
You may want to have some vinegar to sprinkle on after it's dished up for those who like tangier greens like my hubby does but this on it's own is a simple and lovely dish.

This took maybe 10 minutes to cook including prep time.  Now that's what I call good food fast. 


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