08 September 2014

Garlicky sauteed chard with hot red pepper flakes

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.


  1. That sounds excellent! Lovely healthy chard, full of iron and vitamins. I was served chard ribs persillé in hospital in Chatellerault. Too watery, a result no doubt of being kept warm, but try and find that in a British hospital. I can point you to rice pudding sweetened with aspartame, however: quite possibly the most disgusting dish I have ever tasted. Also in UK, Toulouse sausages are usually loaded with garlic, a travesty! Pauline

  2. Have you ever considered preparing the stalks like 'chicons (ou endives) au gratin', rolled in ham with a cheesy bechamel sauce? We often use white celery stalks as an altenative for 'chicons', making the bechamel with the cooking liquid of the celery and just a drop of milk. It's delicious. I'm pretty sure the 'bettes stalks' version would taste just as good!

    1. Good idea, Martine. Maybe we'll try that. It's a gratin but with the addition of ham. Yum...

  3. Hi Pauline,

    The site www.toulouse-tourisme.com gives this recipe for the famous sausage — no garlic:

    Composition de la saucisse de Toulouse : La recette de sa fabrication

    Sans colorant, ni conservateur, ni additif, la saucisse de Toulouse se compose de 75% de maigre de porc et de 25% de chair de poitrine, de sel et de poivre, le tout dans un boyau naturel. Sa couleur rosée et son large diamètre de 3 cm lui confèrent un aspect caractéristique.

    At the same time, there must be saltpeter or some nitrite (sodium or potassium) in the mix to preserve the meat and keep it from turning brown when cooked. Whatever... I like the plainness of Toulouse sausages — tasty but simple.

  4. Hi Ken, sometime try soaking the chard in very, very
    salty water. I think you'll fine the snails, worms, etc.
    will wash off with another fresh water soak or rinse.
    .They don't like that salty environment.

  5. Your new kitchen appliance is fantastic. I like it.


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