Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Red Swiss Chard with Roasted Garlic & Balsamic

I have had so much success with growing Swiss chard this season. The leaves are huge...but still sweet...and the stems remain really tender. I have found many ways to prepare this delicious green...stuffed, chopped and added to soups or scrambled eggs, layered into casseroles (try chard lasagna!) and eaten as a salad. But my favorite way is sauteing with onions and garlic.

This is "Roasted Garlic" week at Food Network and I roasted a dozen heads of garlic to use in many different recipes. One of my favorites is also one of the simplest. Sauteed greens with onion, roasted garlic and pine nuts. Healthy drizzles of excellent quality extra virgin olive oil and good aged balsamic vinegar take this to over-the-top deliciousness. Serve as is or do what I do. Pile the prepared greens over grilled sourdough or french bread for a different take on bruschetta. This with a bit of Parmigiano-Reggiano and a glass of wine make a perfect simple supper.

The recipe for roasted garlic is one you will want to keep handy. Roast a number of heads at the same time. You will find many ways to use. See some suggestions as the end of this post. Enjoy!

Red Swiss Chard with Roasted Garlic & Balsamic
(Serves 8)

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
6 lbs red Swiss chard
1/2 small white onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons pine nuts
cloves from 1 small head roasted garlic (recipe follows)
2 tablespoons pure balsamic vinegar
sea salt
black pepper

Prepare chard:  With a sharp knife, cut stems from chard leaves. Fold each leaf in half lengthwise and cut off the center rib.(discard ribs). Chop stems into 1 inch pieces. Roll up each leaf and cut into 1 inch slices. Chop the slices into pieces about 2 inches.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add chard stem pieces and onions. Sprinkle with a large pinch salt and pepper. Saute until chard is soft and onion is golden brown and beginning to caramelize. (about 7 minutes) Add additional olive oil if the pan seems dry.  Add the chard leaves, red pepper flakes and pine nuts. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until the chard is soft. Add roasted garlic cloves and saute for an additional minute. Stir in the balsamic vinegar.

Remove from heat. Taste and adjust seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately drizzling additional olive oil over the top if desired..

Roasted Garlic 
You can make this with as many heads of garlic as you wish. This no-recipe recipe is as follows:

With a sharp knife, cut off the very top of each head of garlic...you should just see the very tip of the garlic cloves after cutting. Remove the first layer or two of papery garlic skin from the garlic head, not too much, you want the garlic cloves to remain attached. Place the garlic root side down in a small ovenproof pan or baking dish, you want the garlic to fit tightly in the pan, so the pan size will depend on the number of garlic heads you are roasting (make more than you need...the roasted garlic will last a few days...and you will use it in everything!) Drizzle cut side of garlic with extra virgin olive oil. Sprinkle with sea salt (I like grey salt) and freshly ground pepper. 

Cover pan tightly with foil and roast in a 375-degree oven for 20-30 minutes. Garlic should be very tender. remove the foil, drizzle with additional olive oil and continue roasting for 10 minutes more.

At this point you can squeeze the garlic from the cloves directly onto toasted french or sourdough bread which is lovely...or you can squeeze all the garlic into a small bowl, mash with a wooden spoon and drizzle with additional extra virgin olive oil to create a smooth paste. Taste and add additional salt/pepper if desired. Garlic and/or paste can be stirred into smashed potatoes, added to toasted/grilled bread, added to roasted or steamed vegetables, stirred into sauces, as a topping for pizza, etc. Once you taste it you will be inspired to add it to almost everything!

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It is "Roasted Garlic" week at Food Network's Fall Fest roundup. Do you have a favorite roasted garlic recipe? Share in the comments section and/or link to your blog if you have one. 

The Lemon Bowl: Crispy Garlic Baked Chicken Breasts
Jeanette's Healthy Living: 
Roasted Garlic Tomato Pasta Sauce
Big Girls, Small Kitchen: 
Baking Sheet Spaghetti with Roasted Garlic, Peppers & Eggplant
Napa Farmhouse 1885: 
Red Swiss Chard with Roasted Garlic & Balsamic
Red or Green: 
Pasta Puttanesca with Roasted Garlic
Taste with the Eyes: 
Crusted Ahi with Roasted Garlic Tahini
Dishing With Divya: 
Baked Salmon with Garlic and Herbs
Virtually Homemade: 
Roasted Broccoli and Garlic with Feta Cheese
The Cultural Dish: 
Roasted Garlic Infused Olive Oil
Domesticate Me: 
Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Garlic, Goat Cheese and Pepitas
The Mom 100: 
Roasted Garlic and Tomato Bread
Roasted Garlic Recipes Worth Worshipping 
FN Dish: 
10 Excuses to Eat Roasted Garlic


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