Ruby chard is definitely a new favorite of mine. Perhaps two recipes with chard in a week are a bit much but I just wanted to share this as it would be a nice side dish for the Mac and cheese.
I played around a bit with the basic recipe I use for sautéed greens. I cooked the stalks this time, which I don’t usually do. The red stalks add a lot visually to the recipe and they keep their color since they are cooked separately. They also are full of flavor and nutritional value. I will admit that the flavor can sometimes be a little bitter, which is why I decided to add a pear to this version of sautéed ruby chard. Plus, I had several ripe pears around waiting to be eaten. The pear was a superb addition, adding a hint of sweetness and subtle undertones.
Speaking of nutrition, chard is a powerhouse. It is a rich source of vitamins K, C, and A and minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. It is a good source of phytonutrients, B vitamins, protein and fiber while being low in calories. Can you see why I like serving it at my table? But it is not just the nutrition, it is the taste!!
Give this dish a try. It had everyone here raving! Just remember, even though the stalks give you slightly more volume, one bunch of chard can only serve about four people. If you have a bigger group, double this recipe.
Ruby Chard with pears, red onion and balsamic reduction sauce
Ruby chard- 1 large bunch, stalks and leaves
1 small or ½ large red onion
2 tsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, pressed
½ tsp onion powder, pinch of red pepper
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sugar
2 more tsp. olive oil
One ripe pear
Salt and pepper to taste
Thoroughly wash ruby chard. Trim the ends of the stalks and use sharp knife to cut along stems and pulling to remove. Finely slice stalks. Thinly sliced, cut up red onion. Pour 2 tsp. olive oil into large pan and add onions and stalks. Cook over medium heat for 6 minutes then add clove of garlic, pinch of red pepper flakes and onion powder and cook about 2 more minutes or until onion is translucent and stalk pieces are softened.
Remove stalks, onion to bowl and heat balsamic vinegar and sugar, cooking on med-low for 4-5 minutes until slightly reduced and thickening. Meanwhile cut leaves into smaller pieces and peel and dice pear. Pour balsamic reduction over stalk mix in bowl. Add another 2 tsp olive oil to the pan. Add leaves and pears. Cook, stirring, for 2 minutes or so until wilted and soft. Re add the stalks and all liquid into the leaves and mix well. Salt and pepper to taste.