Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Swiss Chard with Golden Raisins and Lemon Bread Crumbs

My mom passed along this recipe that she found in The Olympian last summer.

1/2 c. golden raisins
1 bunch Swiss chard (about 1 pound)
1 onion, halved and sliced thinly into half-moons
Olive oil (a few tablespoons)
Freshly pressed garlic (a couple cloves)
1 1/2 t. lemon zest, divided
Crushed red pepper flakes (just a dash)
Coarse salt, to taste
3/4 c. bread crumbs
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Lemon juice (a tablespoon or so)

Put the raisins in a bowl of warm water to soften. Meanwhile, wash the chard and separate the stems from the leaves. Cut the stems into 1-inch slices. Shred the leaves. Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet, and add the sliced onions. Cook until somewhat soft--4 minutes or so. Then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the sliced chard stems, 1 teaspoon of the lemon zest, the crushed red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon salt. Cover the skillet and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the stems are very tender--20 minutes or so. Meanwhile, combine the bread crumbs, the remaining lemon zest, and a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a small skillet. Stir to coat the bread crumbs with the oil. Add salt to taste. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until the bread crumbs are toasted--5 minutes or so. Then remove them from the skillet and set aside. Once the chard stems are very tender, add the shredded leaves and the softened & drained raisins. Add salt to taste. Continue to cook, stirring often, until the leaves are tender--another 5 minutes or so. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste, along with the lemon juice. If there's a lot of liquid in the pan, drain it. Taste the chard mixture and add more salt if necessary. Sprinkle each serving with toasted lemon bread crumbs.

This is quite tasty; we all gobbled it up. However, it is rather work intensive, so it's probably best to save it for a day when you have a fair amount of time and energy to devote to a meal. Also, we had it as a main course, but it would probably be better as a side dish.

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