I love to grow swiss chard. My favorite variety is called ‘bright lights’ or ‘tri-color chard’. As you can see – it is visually stunning – a beautiful addition to any garden, and very easy to grow. It will last through a frost – so the chard in my garden is a great fall go-to veggie, after the tomatoes, cucumber and squash are gone. Sometimes I pick a big bunch and keep it on the table as a centerpiece for a day before eating it, it’s just that pretty!
We like to sneak it into fruit smoothies (a much milder taste than kale) and it’s packed full of phytonutrients. Read here why it’s one of the world’s healthiest foods!
- 1-2 large bunches fresh swiss chard
- 3-4 cloves fresh garlic chopped
- Grapeseed oil for sauteeing (healthier than olive oil for high heat)
- Dried Cranberries (we like the apple-juice sweetened kind)
- Toasted pumpkin seeds (or sunflower seeds, or toasted pine nuts)
- Sea salt (or kosher)
- Balsamic vinegar
- Rinse chard, and chop into 1-inch size chunks. Leaves can be sliced into 1-inch pieces. Separate stems from leaf tops. Chop garlic.
- In a large sauce pan or wok, heat grapeseed oil on medium high. Add garlic and stems at the same time and sprinkle with salt. Cook for approx. 3-4 minutes, then add leaf tops (there will be a lot of greens at first, but they will cook down. This is why a wok is helpful.)
- Sprinkle with salt again and cover to steam, turning heat down to medium. Add a splash of water if chard begins to stick to the bottom. Once stems are tender, remove contents onto a platter.
- Chop dried cranberries into smaller bits. Add toasted pumpkin seeds (pine nuts are wonderful, but so expensive!) and drizzle with a little Balsamic vinegar – DELICIOUS! My kiddos always go back for seconds on this dish!
How-To on the Toasted Pumpkin seeds:
For healthier nuts/seeds, and easier digestion – I like to soak my seeds overnight in a mason jar. I add 2 tablespoons salt to filtered water and soak them in the brine on the counter, then transfer to fridge the next day. Seeds will continue to mildly ferment in the fridge – and will keep fresh a long time this way. When I’m ready to toast, I drain them from the brine, pat dry on a paper towel and add them to a frying pan with a little grapeseed oil. Once toasted, add a light sprinkle of sea salt. These taste great all by themselves!