Swiss chard is a leafy green that is especially powerful in helping prevent circulatory disorders as we age. Chard contains more than a dozen polyphenol-type antioxidants that offer protective effects for our heart and circulation.
Swiss chard is also an excellent source of betalains, which provide anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects throughout the body. Betalains are the pigments that give the stems and "veins" of chard their vibrant red and yellow colours. With the right approach to cooking and a few complementary flavours and textures thrown into the mix, chard can be absolutely delicious.
10 to 12 ounces of Swiss chard
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth
1/3 cup organic raisins
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
Sea salt and pepper, to taste
Cut leaves away from stems of chard. To include stems, trim off the toughest bottom portion of the stems and thinly slice what remains, which will cook evenly with the leaves.
Layer a few leaves of chard at a time and cut them into 1/2-inch strips. If the strips seem too long for comfortable mouthfuls, chop them once or twice lengthwise to shorten them. Repeat this for all of the chard leaves.
Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a medium to large pan. Add garlic and saute over low heat until slightly golden. Add broth and as much chard as will comfortably fit in the pan.
Cover and cook until chard starts to wilt. If you have leftover chard, keep adding portions until all of it fits in the pan. It should take about 5 minutes for entire batch to cook while covered. You want to cook until chard leaves are tender.
Stir in raisins. If you have capers, add about a tablespoon for extra flavor, then add sea salt and pepper, to taste. Scatter chopped pecans on top just before serving.