I was reading in my latest cookbook: "Ad Hoc at Home" and came across Thomas Keller's recipe for Rainbow Chard with Raisins, Pine Nuts, and Serrano Ham. It sounded very tasty. I tried to simplify it a bit for my home use after making it as written. His is very, very good, but I also liked mine pretty well too.
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- 4 tablespoons dry sherry
- 3 slices bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped
- 4 lbs fresh swiss chard, coarsely chopped (stems should be small and delicate)
- kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a small sauce pan heat the sherry until just simmering, add the raisins and remove from heat. Let soak for 20 minutes, until raisins are nice and plump.
- In a medium skillet, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from skillet with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
- Toast the pine nuts in the bacon fat until golden brown. Remove from skillet with slotted spoon and add to bacon on paper towel.
- Heat 1 ½ tablespoons olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the garlic, and gently sauté for 30 seconds, just to soften. Reduce heat to medium-low and add ¼ of the chard to the skillet, season lightly with salt and cook for 3 to 5 minutes to wilt. Add another ¼ of the chard to the skillet and continue to cook until all of the chard is wilted and tender, about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Remove the chard from the skillet to a bowl and cook the rest of the chard as above. If you have two large skillets you can do both batches at the same time.
- When all of the chard is cooked, return it to the skillet and add raisins, pine nuts and bacon. Cook over medium heat until warmed through and the raisins, pine nuts and bacon are evenly distributed in the chard. Season with more salt if needed and black pepper to taste.
- I found baby chard that had very tender stems. If the chard stems you have are large and tough, cut them out of the chard leaves and chopped them into 1 inch lengths. Blanch them in boiling water until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes, drain, then add them when cooking the leaves.