Rainbow Swiss Chard is one of my favorite greens to cook. It is so beautiful to look at, plus, its alkalizing, its full of Vitamin A and magnesium and and it is a powerful antioxidant. The leaves hold up well when used in soups and stews but for this dish I simply blanched them, which is the best way to cook dark green leafy vegetables. This method allows most of the nutrients to remain while making it soft enough to enjoy.
- 1 Bunch of rainbow swiss chard
- 2 tbls organic raisins
- 2 tbls raw sunflower kernels
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the swiss chard, cut the leaves vertically into 1 inch long strips, then when all you have left is the colorful stem, chop that part up into 1 inch thick pieces.
Mince 1 clove garlic. Let it sit for at least 5 minutes while the water is coming to a boil.
Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil, drop the leaves and stems in all at one time, and begin a timer for 3 minutes as soon as the leaves touch the water. Do not wait for the water to return to a boil, you only want them in the water for 3 minutes. No longer, no less.
Remove from the water and drain in a colander, pressing any excess out with the back of a spoon. Toss with the extra virgin olive oil, raisins, and raw sunflower kernels, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix well. (I put it in a glass jar with a lid and shake it up.) Server while it is still warm.
I make this dish as least once a week. I have also prepared it the more traditional way, which is using pine nuts, but pine nuts are expensive and I actually prefer my method of sunflower kernels. I will note however, that pine nuts are a natural mood elevator. Either way you make it, you are getting plenty of protein and omega-3’s, so you really can’t go wrong with either option.
Now is the perfect time to get your swiss chard at your local farmer’s markets, the leaves tend to get bitter the warmer the weather is. Remember, the less time it takes to get to your plate, the more nutrients it has. So what are you waiting for? Go support your local farmers and get some chard!