Whether you're a greens-sceptic or greens lover, this Catalan-style sauteed Swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts will win you over. It's an easy and delicious side dish, that's good for you too.
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When I first lived in Spain I was in Catalunya, in a relatively small town. I had various challenges settling in such as new job, finding an apartment, trying to meet people. I also had more of a language barrier than I had anticipated (I had some Spanish, but no Catalan). But one thing that kept me sane was the food.
There were a number of reasonable tapas bars, and as I made friends, they introduced me to even more places with delicious local treats like llescas, Catalan bread pizza and calçots with romesco sauce. Then there was the fantastic central market.
The market was a buzz of activity every weekday, with a huge fish stall as well as meat and fresh produce. Even if you couldn't pluck up the courage to grab someone's attention and order, it was great window shopping.
One vegetable I didn't particularly recognize nor use much while I lived there was 'acelgas'. I just couldn't quite figure out what to do with it. It turns out it's chard, which I've been having more of recently and have grown to enjoy.
One of the llescas toppings I shared was a typical Catalan way with spinach using pine nuts and raisins also works perfectly with other greens. In fact I'd say sauteed Swiss chard works even better since chard doesn't become as soggy.
This is an easy dish to make, as all you do is chop up the chard then sautee the stems with a little onion and garlic. Once the stems are soft, add the leaf part along with some raisins and pine nuts. Add a little lemon both for flavor and to cut through the iron-like flavor, and that's it.
Not your average greens dish
Most of the reservations you might have about leafy greens just don't apply to this. The flavor is not overly iron-y tasting, nor is it soggy. It's also not drowned in cream (although I do love my Swiss chard gratin as well) or hidden with salty meat. In fact, this dish is entirely vegan, but is also perfect served alongside things like steak and chicken, for the meat lovers.
If you're looking to get more greens in your diet, this sauteed Swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts is a really delicious way to actually enjoy them.
Try these other tasty chard recipes:
- Leek and Swiss chard gratin
- Chard, lemon and couscous stuffed fish
- Chard pesto and mozzarella orzo bake
Plus get more Spanish recipes in the archives.
Catalan-style sauteed Swiss chard with raisins and pine nuts
- 12 oz Swiss chard 340g
- ½ red onion small-med
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp raisins
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- ½ lemon juice ie from ½ a lemon
- Separate the stems from the chard leaves. Trim the ends of the stems and slice them. Shred the leaves into relatively thin slices, cutting longer ones as needed, keeping them separate from the stems. Finely dice the onion and the garlic.
- Warm the olive oil in a medium skillet/frying pan over a medium heat. Add the chard stems, onion and garlic and cook for a couple minutes until they start to soften. Add the leaves and wilt them down, turning the mixture over so the warm stems and onion are on top to help the leaves wilt down. Reduce the heat if needed so the leaves don't burn.
- Add the raisins, pine nuts and lemon and cook another minute or two, reducing heat as needed, then serve.
See some of my favorite cooking tools and ingredients in the Caroline's Cooking Amazon store.
Try these other healthy green dishes:
- Kale and Brussels Sprout Frittata by Pies and Plots
- Spinach and Artichoke Dip Flatbreads by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
- Winter Minestrone with Turnips, Potatoes, and Kale by Wholistic Woman
- Honey Mustard Roasted Brussels Sprouts by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Oven-Roasted Fiddleheads with Capers and Lemon by From the Bookshelf