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Rainbow Chard with Pine Nuts, Parmesan, and Basil

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Serves three to four.

  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 105

This easy sauté makes delicious use of the ingredients that go into pesto. Before you start, watch the Test Kitchen's video to get a few quick tips on trimming chard.

  • 13 to 14 oz. Rainbow chard (about 1 large bunch)
  • 1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbs. pine nuts
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Tbs. minced garlic
  • 1 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves (8 to 10 large)

Pull or cut the stems from the chard leaves. Cut or rip the leaves into 2- to 3-inch pieces and wash and dry them well. Rinse the stems and slice them crosswise 1/4 inch thick.

In a 12-inch nonstick stir-fry pan or skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pine nuts and cook, stirring constantly, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the pine nuts to a plate, leaving behind as much oil as possible.

Return the pan to medium-high heat, add the chard stems and a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until shrunken and beginning to brown lightly, 6 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 15 seconds. Add the chard leaves and 1/4 tsp. salt. Toss with tongs until just wilted, 1 to 2 minutes. (If using a skillet, you may need to add the chard in batches, letting the first batch wilt before adding more.) Remove the pan from the heat, add the cold butter pieces and stir just until the butter has melted.

Using tongs, immediately transfer about half of the leaves and stems to a serving plate and arrange. Sprinkle on half of the Parmigiano, basil, and pine nuts. Layer on the remaining leaves, stems, and pan juices, and garnish with the remaining cheese, basil, and pine nuts. Serve immediately.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 178; Fat (g): fat g 17.33; Fat Calories (kcal): 156.0; Saturated Fat (g): sat fat g 5; Protein (g): protein g 4.56; Carbohydrates (g): carbs g 1.56; Sodium (mg): sodium mg 118.33; Cholesterol (mg): cholesterol mg 15.33; Fiber (g): fiber g 1.23;

Photo: Amy Neunsinger

This was absolutely delicious and we will be making it again and again, as long as rainbow chard is in season. I used coconut oil instead of olive oil, and EarthBalance in place of butter. Still tasty and we paired it with some gluten-free quinoa noodle tuna casserole, mmmm.

Delicious even without the butter.

This is good, but if you really love the taste of Swiss chard, like we do, this may not be for you. The parmesan tends to mask the pure chard flavor. The pine nuts are a lovely touch, though.

Delcious...this was easy to make a few hours ahead and finish off with butter, nuts and basil. Went great with steak as a side dish

We loved this recipe. Of course the butter always helps, but the addition of the Parmesan cheese was a nice added bonus.

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