3. Simple Swiss chard tomato sauté recipe
I’m betting when most people think of their kitchen and food memories of Mom, they think of mac and cheese, soup, or something equally comforting. Sure, my mom made all of those things, but that’s not what first comes to mind. Almost all of my childhood food memories can be traced back to our small summer backyard garden. Fresh basil, Swiss chard and copious amounts of tomatoes in August are the things that make me think of her.
This dish is a perfect example of what we’d eat night after night in the summer when we had more fresh garden veggies than any family of four could consume. It’s a simple Swiss chard and tomato dish studded with fresh basil. It comes together in minutes, and I can’t make it without thinking back to my mom in old jeans, picking weeds from the garden while my brother and I played soccer in the backyard.
- 1 large bunch Swiss chard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Dash red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes (or the equivalent amount of diced fresh tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Separate the leaves from the stems of the Swiss chard, and chop the stems into 1-inch pieces.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the shallots, garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the Swiss chard stems, and cook for about 3 minutes, until they begin to soften.
- Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Add the Swiss chard leaves, and season with salt and pepper. Use tongs to toss the leaves so that they get coated with the juice from the tomatoes. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until the leaves wilt down.
- Turn off the heat, add the basil leaves and toss to combine.
- Plate the Swiss chard, and top with the grated Parmesan.