I love chard. There are several varieties available to us now at the grocery store, and the leaves and stalks are so bright and colorful. When I was a kid, my grandfather grew dark green Swiss chard in the garden and my Grandma boiled it to death in a pot. This recipe celebrates chard's gorgeous color and braises it quickly in delicious red wine for great flavor. The crispy, finely crumbled bacon gives it a nice salty finishing touch. Outside of cooking the bacon, you can have this dish on the table in 15 minutes at the most.
- 6 slices of thick cut smoked bacon (optional)
- 4 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3-4 bunches rainbow chard, cut into 1-1½" strips including the stalks
- ¼ cup unsalted chicken stock
- ⅓ cup pinot noir or other dry red wine
- Kosher salt and fresh black pepper to taste
In a large, shallow sauté pan, cook the bacon over moderate heat until crisp. Remove from grease and drain on a few layers of paper towel. When cool, pulse several times in a food processor fitted with a steel blade to create a fine crumble (if you pulse too much, it will form a paste). Set aside.
Remove most of the bacon grease from the sauté pan and leave the browned bits. Pour in the olive oil and heat on medium-high heat for a minute. Add the onion and garlic, and cook until softened, about 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the chard stalks (not the leaves) and cook until bright and slightly tender, about 4-5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate.
Add the strips of chard leaves (in batches if needed) and pour the chicken stock and red wine over top. Toss gently with tongs until slightly wilted yet still bright green, usually 3-4 minutes. Fold the cooked stems back in and toss together. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Transfer to a platter, and spoon some remaining wine sauce over the chard. Sprinkle the bacon crumble on top.