Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Swiss Chard with Cannellini Beans and Tomatoes

My mom made this for me the last time I was visiting with my parents. I am always looking for ways to incorporate more swiss chard and kale into my diet, so I plan to try this soon. I have to admit, I recently bought some swiss chard to put into a minestrone soup I was making, and ended up throwing the rest out because I couldn't come up with anything good to do with it, and I had forgotten about this recipe. Swiss chard or kale sauteed with garlic and cannellini beans is a very common recipe, but the addition of the tomatoes and crushed red pepper give it a nice kick. I think this would be good served over pasta.

Swiss Chard with Cannellini Beans and Tomatoes
1 bunch of swiss chard
2 tblsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/2 tspn crushed red pepper
1 tblsp tomato paste
2-3 plum tomatoes, chopped (some canned diced tomatoes would work also)
1 14 oz. can cannellini beans
salt and pepper to taste

1. In a large sauce pan, bring at least 4 quarts of water to a boil
2. Rinse chard thoroughly. Cut off the stems at the base of the leaves. Slice the leaves crosswise into 1 inch wide strips.
3. Drop the chard into boiling water. Cover and when the water returns to a boil, reduce the heat slightly and simmer the chard for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain in a colander.
4. In a large skillet, heat 1 tblsp of the olive oil with garlic and red pepper over medium heat. Stir constantly for 2 minutes, until the garlic begins to turn golden. Immediately stir in the tomato paste. Stir constantly for 1 minute more.
5. Add the tomatoes, turn the heat to high, and stir constantly for 1 to 2 minutes to soften the tomatoes. Add the beans and the chard. Continue cooking over medium high heat for 3 minutes more.
6. Lower the heat to medium-low and stir in the other tblsp of olive oil. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Simmer for 2 more minutes.

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