When a rainbow of Swiss chard showed up in my CSA Bin this past week, I was in the midst of a bacon and pancetta obsession. In one meal, bacon showed up in three separate dishes (Caesar Salad, Tuscan Chicken, and Risotto) … but not fully sated by just this, bacon then swept into my next experiment too as I debated what to do with this beautiful bunch of Swiss chard that contained red, purple, orange, yellow, and white leaves. The result is a delicious medley of flavours itself that works with the tanginess of the chard, and pairs it with some sweetness from the berries and the salt and smokiness of the bacon.
There is nothing particularly hard or challenging about this dish but the one thing to note is that I used the chard stems in the cooking. These stems are where all that tangy zestiness resides plus a lot of other nutrients. In using the stems, you simply have to follow the method below which will have you remove and cook the stems separately since they have a longer cooking process.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 13
Total time: 18 minutes
Swiss Chard with Bacon and Cranberries
- 1 bunch (250 grams or 1/2 lb) of organic Swiss chard
- 65 grams (3 thick strips) of double-smoked bacon, chopped
- 2 tablespoons of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of lemon zest
- 2 cloves of roasted garlic
- 1/4 cup of white wine
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon of sugar
- 1/4 cup cranberries
- salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons roasted pumpkin seeds (optional garnish)
- Prepare the chard by washing it and then, cutting along the stalks, remove the leaves from the stalk.
Chop the stalk into 1/4″ pieces and pile. Then, rolling the leaves together, chop them chiffonade style.
- Chop the bacon into 1/4″ (1cm) pieces, and, over medium-high heat, begin to fry the bacon. Once the fat has started to melt, about 1 minute, add the butter and the chard stems and continue to fry for about 3 more minutes until things start to caramelize.
- Add the lemon zest and continue to fry for another 2 minutes. Add the roasted garlic and cook for another minute.
- Deglaze pan with white wine and then add the lemon juice, sugar, chard leaves and cranberries to the pan and immediately cover and cook for another 3 minutes.
- Season with salt (to taste). Not all cranberries are as sweet as each other, so you may need to add a hint more sugar to your taste as well. Test for doneness: stems will be soft and leaves will be slightly have wilted and darkened. Be careful the pan doesn’t dry out but the sauce should be minimal.
- Serve as a side and garnish with roasted pumpkin seeds.
Serves 6 as a small side.