How to Cook Swiss Chard Italian Style

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Swiss chard is a dark leafy green vegetable that is similar to, and is in the same plant family -- Amaranthaceae -- as spinach. Swiss chard is a healthy food that is rich in minerals, chlorophyll, dietary fiber and vitamins C, A, E and K. It is used in a variety of different food recipes around the globe, and is prepared in a variety of different ways. Swiss chard, also referred to as chard, has a slightly sweeter taste than spinach. An Italian style Swiss chard recipe offers a delicious and flavorful variation on preparing the vegetable.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 lbs. Swiss chard
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Romano or Parmigiana cheese (optional)
  • Take the Swiss chard and trim the ends off of the stems. Rinse it off under cool water thoroughly. Using a knife, cut up the stalks into bite-sized pieces, approximately 1-inch across, and cut the leaves into strips.

  • In a large saucepan, bring a cup of water and 1/4 tsp. of salt to a boil.

  • Add the cut up stalks of chard into the water and allow it to simmer for two minutes.

  • Add the leafy strips to the saucepan and stir. Allow it to simmer for about six minutes or until the leaves have wilted and the stalks are tender. Check stalks by inserting a fork. Remove from the heat and set to the side.

  • Using a large skillet, heat up the olive oil on a low setting. Add the red pepper flakes and the minced garlic. Stir continuously for about three minutes or until it becomes fragrant.

  • Transfer the Swiss chard into the garlic, red pepper flakes and olive oil in the skillet. Allow it to simmer until it is steaming hot. Add some salt and some pepper to taste.

  • Serve hot as a side dish with an Italian style main meal.

Tips & Warnings

  • Sprinkle some Romano or parmigiana cheese on top of the Swiss chard after it has been prepared. This will add to the flavor.
  • Swiss chard goes great with pasta dishes such as spaghetti.
  • Be careful not to allow the Swiss chard leaves to simmer too long, as they may become mushy.

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  • Photo Credit Brand X Pictures/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images
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