The garden series continues. After zucchini, tomatoes, green beans, cucumbers, and plums, here comes some more chard. Sauteed this time in olive oil, with sliced garlic, crushed red pepper, salt, and black pepper. It takes less than 10 minutes to cook, but the prep time is a lot longer.
The huge, mostly dark green leaves need to be washed carefully several times to remove all the sand, tiny snails, and little slugs that might be on them. Then the thick white central rib of each leaf needs to be cut out. It's a labor of love.
You can chop the white ribs and cook them along with the green leafy parts, but you need to give the tough ribs a head start. We decided to save the ribs and cook them separately later. They are good made into a gratin with béchamel sauce and melted cheese.
The sauteed chard leaves retain a pleasant al dente texture. At the same time, they are not tough or fibrous, especially if you use only the green leafy parts.
We ate the sauteed chard with a few oven-roasted new potatoes (the variety called Charlotte) and two saucisses de Toulouse, which are sausages of lean pork that is minced (en principe) by hand, with a sharp knife, and not put through a meat grinder. I love Toulouse-style sausages with greens or beans, and with good Dijon mustard.