Bacon, garlic, and a little onion add flavor to this dish of Swiss chard.
Swiss chard has long been one of my favorite vegetables because it's a tasty and nutritious green vegetable and it's so easy to grow. Chard is related to beet greens, and the leaves are mild flavored, similar to spinach. Both the stalks and the leaves are edible.
Because of the oxalic acid, Swiss chard should be cooked in a non-reactive pan. Stainless steel or an enamel-lined saucepan or Dutch oven are good choices.
- 2 bunches, about 2 pounds, Swiss chard, white ribbed or a mixture of colors (rainbow, red, yellow)
- 3 or 4 slices bacon, diced
- 1 clove garlic (mashed and finely minced)
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup red onion (finely chopped)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup half-and-half or whole milk
- pinch nutmeg
- salt and pepper, to taste
- Wash chard and cut off thicker stems. Thinly slice the stems and chop leaves into 1/2- to 1-inch pieces.
- Steam or boil the stems for about 5 minutes, then add chard and cook until wilted, about 4 minutes longer. Drain well, squeezing out excess moisture if necessary.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, cook the diced bacon until crisp; remove and set aside. Add onion and garlic and cook until onion is tender. Stir in the cooked drained chard and the reserved bacon; set aside.
- In a saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in the flour until smooth and bubbly. Add the half-and-half or milk and nutmeg. Cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Add about 1/2 of the sauce to the chard, stirring to blend. Stir in more or all of the remaining sauce mixture, as desired.
Serves 4 to 6.