TASTE BUDS

Chard with pine nuts and raisins makes greens palatable

Posted June 21, 2011, at 12:23 p.m.
Last modified June 21, 2011, at 1:24 p.m.

Island neighbor Barbara Talamo says this way of fixing chard is so good that even a little grandchild of hers asks for it. It can be difficult to get some grown-ups to do that. Greens such as chard, kale and spinach are so good for us, but feeling virtuous is not a sufficient reason to eat them. They really ought to taste good, too, and this dish really does. Barbara first ate it on a trip to Spain and recreated it at home.

The dish calls for pine nuts, or pignolia, which actually are harvested from pine trees.

Harvesters have to deconstruct the pine cone, which may surely leave them feeling a good deal like a squirrel. Yes, they are a little pricey, but you don’t need many of them, only a quarter of a cup. You can substitute almonds if you wish.

Chard with Pine Nuts and Raisins

Makes three to four servings

1 bunch of chard

Olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, mashed

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup pine nuts

Cracked red pepper to taste

Salt

Tear the leaves away from the stem. Chop stems into half-inch pieces. Coarsely chop

the chard leaves. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and drop the stems in and simmer for five

minutes, then add the leaves and simmer them together for another five minutes. Drain the chard, pressing it against the sides of the colander to squeeze out excess liquid. Chop again on a cutting board. Saute the garlic gently in the olive oil. Add cooked, drained chard to the garlic in the saute pan and heat it through. Add the raisins and pine nuts, stirring them and the chard to distribute them evenly. Add cracked pepper and salt to taste.

Looking for … drop-dead delicious shortcake to go under strawberries. Do you have a

secret for making strawberry shortcake that you would care to share? Strawberries are coming on, and I don’t know about you, but I sure am looking forward to my first shortcake.

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