Sicilian Swiss Chard

This recipe seemed to be buried under my nostalgic ode to Ohio in a post I wrote years ago after a memorable trip to visit my family. I spent a lot of time with my late Sicilian grandmother and my aunts on that trip. It was a fantastic time of year because so much of the summer harvest was still bearing fruit and everyone was happy and generous, eager to cook and enjoy the rustic countryside of Ohio that I grew up with and have loved and missed over the years.

This recipe for Sicilian Swiss Chard is one that my aunt made in just a few minutes. I never really knew that it was something my grandmother liked to make and eat because it wasn’t one of those things she made for the Sunday dinners, which were more family-style meals (think lasagna or pasta with meatballs), so I learned something new about her during this visit- and I also learned that I had unknowingly inherited a love of greens and that learning how to make something this simple would be one of the healthiest types of dishes in my repertoire to date. It’s something I have made over and over again, with spinach or kale instead, and it saved me many times when I lived in Turkey and there was an abundance of greens to cook. I hope you’ll enjoy it and prepare it for yourself and your family, too.

Sicilian Swiss Chard Recipe

Serves 2

Ingredients

1/2 pound ripe tomatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces. I recommend this Italian boxed variety if you don’t have fresh tomatoes on hand. 

2 cloves organic garlic

1 bunch red or green-stemmed Swiss chard, cooked and drained of all water. Substitute spinach or kale if you don’t have Swiss chard. (Always choose organic/pesticide-free on the greens, if possible). 

1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt, to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, to taste (for halal options, it’s best to choose a variety with vegetarian rennet

Directions

  1. To a sauté pan over medium heat, add the tomatoes and garlic. Cook until all of the juices from the tomatoes have dried up.
  2. Add the Swiss chard, olive oil and salt. Heat until warm.
  3. Remove from heat and add cheese just before serving.

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