Rainbow Chard: Success!

My personal Holy Grail of Cooking has four dimensions: Delicious. Nutritious. Cheap. Doc-Approved. It’s really hard to hit all four of those, but I think I did tonight, although I may have fudged a wee bit on the nutrition aspect, as you will see later on when you read about the sausage.

I impulsively bought a big bunch of rainbow chard at Central Market a few days ago, largely because it was beautiful but also because I’m trying to work more nutritionally rich plants into my diet (dark, richly-hued foods, like blueberries, spinach, orange, broccoli, tomatoes, black beans). At the time I had no plan for what I’d make with the chard, but whatever it was, it was going to be damn pretty.

Tonight I pulled the chard out of the fridge (chopped a few days ago, when I was originally going to use it but ended up being too tired to cook) and thought, “Dammit, I need to use this tonight before it gets too old.” So I did one of those crazy things I do where I just start adding things to a saucepan and hope for the best.

Sauteéd Chard, Potato, and Sausage

4 ounces pork sausage
1 medium sized Yukon Gold potato, scrubbed and cut into 1/4″ dice
2/3 cup water
1 bunch rainbow chard (or any chard), stems included, chopped into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup green beans
1 teaspoon garlic 
1 small serrano or jalapeño pepper, diced
Salt to taste

In a medium saucepan, cook pork sausage until browned, breaking into small bits with a spoon. Pour off most of the fat (not down your drain! See note below), leaving a little for flavor. Add potato and water; cook on medium-high for about 5 minutes until water is mostly evaporated and potatoes are tender. Add chard (you may have to do this in 2 batches if it won’t all fit), green beans, garlic, and serrano pepper. Stir. Cover pan and cook for just a minute or two, until chard starts to wilt. You don’t want to overcook it. Remove from heat, add salt to taste, and serve.

Yum!

I served it with cheese-tortillas (sharp cheddar melted on tortillas, under the broiler).

Note: When I ask you to pour off the fat from the cooked sausage, please don’t pour it down your drain! All that grease gets into the sewer system and sticks to pipes like cholesterol on your arteries, and causes all sorts of problems. Pour it into an empty tin can, cover it, and freeze. Keep using the can until it’s full, then toss it in the trash. There’s probably a way to use this technique without having to put a recyclable tin can in the landfill, like lining the can with cling wrap or something so it can be popped out later… but the hot fat might melt the plastic. If you have any ideas, let me know. 

4 Comments

  1. Anonymous

    You can line a coffee cup with tinfoil (regrettable unrecyclable due to the plastic content) and just ‘pull’ it out. Or you can keep a jar by your stove for cooking. Makes lentils taste really good.

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