Braised Swiss Chard

Another CSA delivery, another bunch of rainbow chard. If the bunches weren’t so pretty and tasty I would have been irritated at the lack of variety. As it was though, this gave me another opportunity to cook the chard in my favorite way of late: braised with some bacon, cider vinegar, and hot sauce.

Now I’m a Midwestern girl, born and raised in the northwest suburbs of Illinois. I know nothing about the South and make no claims that this is as good as someone’s grandma’s greens. I do know that bacon makes everything great though and that’s probably why these taste as good as they do. Recently, I discovered the joys of a certain uncured bacon and whenever John and I eat it, we can’t help but proclaim that it’s the best bacon ever and don’t think we truly knew bacon until we met this brand. Shall we take a moment to admire the bacon in all its glory?

So imagine this: there’s thin slices of sweet onion and garlic cooking in olive oil and the little amount of fat that these babies render. The smell of onion and garlic is heavenly enough as it is, but when you add the chopped chard, the verdant aroma of the vegetables mixes with and some how enhances the hickory of the bacon so the air is just filled with this intoxicating, smokey, sweet smell. Add a shot of hot sauce and some cider vinegar and that sweet smokey flavor has an acidic tang.

As if the colors of the chard weren’t bright and entrancing enough, we ate this as a side for John’s specialty, pork chops and as an experiment, mashed purple potatoes. Basically, the CSA had warned us that eating purple potatoes mashed was not recommended as some find it a bit too trippy. That of course was practically a dare to John who wanted to see what they’d look like. So, prepare yourselves for the final Technicolor plate below!

1 bunch rainbow chard, roughly chopped
1/2 Walla Walla sweet onion, sliced thinly in half moons
1 large clove fresh garlic, minced (yielded ~1 tbsp)
4 slices Hempler’s uncured bacon, cut into 1/4 inch strips
2-3 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup chicken broth (or water w/1 tsp better than bouillon)
1 tbsp cider vinegar
salt, pepper, vinegary hot sauce to taste

In a large pot or Dutch oven heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the bacon pieces and cook until half cooked. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped chard and stir around until mixed with the onions and garlic. Add the broth then cover and let cook for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar, hot sauce, salt and pepper.

CSA Count: 2 (3 if you count the potatoes!)
fresh garlic, rainbow chard, purple potatoes

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5 thoughts on “Braised Swiss Chard

  1. CJW says:

    The potatoes turned out great– made them just like regular mashed potatoes with milk, butter, salt and pepper, but the texture was somehow… mealier? Not in a bad way though.

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