Sometimes your body just screams out for healthy food, with me it’s usually some sort of greens. I generally go for the darker greens, but I spotted rainbow chard in my local supermarket and it looked so beautiful with its yellow, pink and red stems and veins that I just had to get some.
Rainbow chard is loaded with good stuff, it has high levels of vitamins A, C and K as well as potassium, magnesium, iron and fibre. Its mild, sweet taste is ideal if you don’t like your greens too ferrous and bitter tasting.
Even though there is quite a lot of garlic in this recipe (you can reduce the amount if you like), it doesn’t overpower the dish because it’s cooked until very soft so that it melts into the chard.
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Many people strip the leaves off chard and discard the rest, but the stems are edible and add a little crunch to your dishes. They will just need a little extra cooking, so put them the pan first and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the leaves.
To season this dish, and give it a little extra interest I added halloumi for its saltiness and pancetta for its smoky sweet flavour.
Any type of greens can be used in this recipe, but remember if you are using a more delicate variety, such as spring greens or spinach, you will need a lot more as it wilts down considerably during cooking.
Garlic sautéed rainbow chard with crispy pancetta and halloumi croutons
400g Swiss chard
1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
100g halloumi, cut into 1cm dice
1 large shallot, finely sliced
5 fat garlic cloves, sliced thickly
200ml vegetable stock
Wash the chard carefully to remove any traces of soil which may have found its way in between the leaves. Strip the leaves from the stems then roll them up and slice thinly, put to one side. Slice the stems into thin strips and put into a separate pile.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan on a medium heat and cook the pancetta slices until crispy. Remove to a plate lined with kitchen paper to soak up any excess oil. Now add the diced halloumi to the pan, and cook until crispy on all sides. Using a slotted spoon transfer to the plate with the pancetta.
Add the shallot to the same pan and sauté for 2 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, add the garlic and cook gently for 3-4 minutes until softened and starting to turn golden in colour.
Add the chard stems and vegetable stock and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes. Tip in the sliced chard leaves and cook for 4-5 minutes, or until all the leaves have wilted down. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
When ready to serve divide between 2 plates, crumble the crispy pancetta rashers over the top and scatter each plate with the crispy halloumi croutons and a small pinch of sea salt.
Follow Beverley Hicks @littlechelseakitchen