I'm a big Mark Bittman fan because he's a genius, anyone who publishes How To Cook Everything is not messing around, and because many of his evolving recipes are about embracing seasonal foods and clean eating. I assure you no flavor is lost at all in these methods if anything it's playing to it's strengths. So ditch the lean cuisine and make yourself something delicious. It's scary at first but totally worth it I swear and promise!
Garlicky Chard with Olives and Pine Nuts
Makes: 4 servings
Time: 40 minutes
Olives play a starring role in this dish, so quality really matters. Buy bulk olives if at all possible and see if you can find the glossy, deep black, shriveled oil-cured ones (taste one to make sure they’re good). You can use spinach, kale, cabbage, or even bok choy instead of the chard and, for extra richness, crumble a little feta cheese on top right before serving.
11⁄2 pounds chard
1⁄4 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 garlic cloves, sliced, or to taste
1⁄3 cup good-quality black or green olives, pitted and chopped
1⁄2 cup red wine or water
Salt and black pepper
1. Cut the leaves from the stems of the chard. Cut the leaves into wide ribbons and slice the stems (on the diagonal if you like); keep the leaves and stems separate.
2. Put the pine nuts in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Toast the nuts, shaking the pan and stirring often, until just starting to turn golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the nuts from the pan. Put the oil in the skillet and heat for 1 minute. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until soft, golden, and fragrant, about 10 minutes.
3. Turn the heat to medium and stir in the chard stems and olives. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the stems soften a bit, just a minute or 2. Add the chard leaves, wine, and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, until the chard leaves are wilted and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir in the pine nuts and taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve hot or at room temperature.