28 February 2010

A date with destiny

Rows of gorgeous produce on display at Tri-County Produce Co. thrilled me beyond words this afternoon.  I was captivated not only by the cool fragrance of fresh vegetables and hints of soil, but by the abundance and visual feast of colors as well.  I started loading up my basket with abandon, but I was especially drawn to the bunches of the red-stemmed, leafy-green Swiss chard.

Something came into focus when a grabbed a bunch of that Swiss chard.  I knew that chard was destined for me, and that I would be relishing it soon.  Time stood still, and then in one continuous rush I had the chard in the basket and I was checking out at the cashier.  Before I knew it, I had driven home (sunroof open, eye on the chard making sure it was shaded), had washed and chopped the chard, and was steam-sauteeing it with some garlic, olive oil, and sea salt.  That was all it needed.  Or should I say, all I needed.  And was it amazing.  When then chard hit the hot pot, a totally unexpected nutty aroma was released, and then with time the minced garlic took on a burnished hue and the chard gently wilted, the flavors melding together.

I have to tell you I ate that whole bunch of chard right then and there, one luscious forkful after another.  I told you it was destiny.

1 bunch Swiss chard, washed, roughly chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 Tbs. olive oil
Sea salt, to taste

Heat olive oil and garlic in a large pot over medium-high heat.  When garlic begins to sizzle, add chopped chard (with water still clinging to leaves) and toss to coat with oil and garlic bits.  Cover pot and let steam, occasionally removing lid to stir chard.  When chard stems are tender (and leaves are still retaining a bright color), remove lid and let the moisture cook off.  Sprinkle with sea salt and enjoy!

It did occur to me that this would also be great tossed together with some nice al dente spaghetti for a super-easy meal.  Or not.  It's so good on its own that it might not last long enough to find its way to the spaghetti!

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