Eat Your Greens! Rainbow Chard with Raisins and Cashews

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There were no winter greens at our house when I was growing up, let alone rainbow chard. Winter vegetables were frozen – peas, limas and string beans dominated the supper rotation, since fresh green vegetables were hard to come by during Pennsylvania winters. Like many kids, I dutifully chewed the mandatory “three bites” and then eagerly turned to the rest of my plate.

Having lived in California for over 30 years, you would think I would have discovered winter greens such as rainbow chard ages ago. Our local farmers markets are loaded with beautiful kale, chard and other leafy winter greens. Even the supermarkets are selling more and more winter greens once the weather begins to cool. My friend Lynda  turned me on to kale chips last year, and the “green potato chips” won Larry’s heart as well.

So, my romance with kale is only a year or so old, but these days I have begun flirting with Swiss chard. I’m crazy for the rainbow chard that I find in our farmers markets. I’ve learned to ignore recipes that instruct me to cut out  and discard those beautiful center ribs. Just chop and sauté these little jewels a few minutes longer than the leafy greens.

Larry will eat almost anything that has plump raisins tucked into it and is studded with toasted cashews. Almonds would work here too, but I had a bag of cashews in the freezer and “Eat Your Greens! Rainbow Chard with Raisins and Cashews” came to be.

TIP: Use a small skillet and no oil to toast the cashews. Watch carefully to avoid burning them. Your nose will alert you, so “listen” to it.

Serves 4

  • 1/3 cup raw, unsalted cashews
  • 2 pounds rainbow chard, washed with ends trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup low sodium vegetable stock
  • kosher salt and/or ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1. Using a small skillet, cook the cashews over medium-low heat, stirring, until toasted, 3-5 minutes. When cooled, roughly chop and set aside.

2. Take the chard and remove the center ribs with a sharp knife. Cut the ribs into half-inch pieces and set aside. Coarsely cut the chard leaves and set aside.

3. Using a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the oil. Add the chopped onion, paprika and chard ribs and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes.

4. Add the chard leaves in batches, cooking and stirring until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and/or pepper to taste.

5. Add the raisins and the stock, cover and cook over medium-low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

6. Drain the chard and transfer to a serving dish.

7. Drizzle chard with the vinegar and maple syrup. Toss. Top with toasted cashews and serve.

This is a fun Blog Hop that I joined, thanks to my dear pal Susan, who is a host for this month’s theme, #Greenslove.

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31 Responses to Eat Your Greens! Rainbow Chard with Raisins and Cashews

  1. Jessica | Oh Cake March 9, 2012 at 7:38 am #

    What a beautiful, colorful dish! I love the additions of cashews to this. We made a rainbow chard stuffed pasta the other night – it’s such a yummy green!

    • lizthechef March 9, 2012 at 7:44 am #

      Thanks, Jessica, I’m going to try to make soup with the leftover greens – fingers crossed…

  2. Averie @ Averie Cooks March 9, 2012 at 8:23 am #

    Liz this looks so good! I love the big golden raisins in it.

    • lizthechef March 9, 2012 at 8:25 am #

      You’re so sweet to let me link on your site – X0 – love the new blog name too.

  3. Elizabeth March 9, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    The surprising ingredients in the this dish are the paprika and maple syrup. Sounds great. Always looking for new ways to do greens. Love the color as well.

    • lizthechef March 9, 2012 at 10:17 am #

      I wanted the paprika for some smokiness and the maple syrup and vinegar for a sweet-sour touch.

  4. jaynerly March 9, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    I love chard! I agree with you that the lovely stems are just as good. Chard is grown in the summer here so I will remember this for when I have my glut in a few months.

    • lizthechef March 9, 2012 at 10:16 am #

      Larry ate this too – proud of him 😉

  5. Cut `n Clean Greens March 9, 2012 at 10:11 am #

    That looks flat-out FANTASTIC! We are going to feature it on our Facebook page, so everyone can see how pretty it is, and can come here for the healthy recipe. Please come LIKE us on Facebook if you wish, at https://www.facebook.com/Cut.n.Clean.Greens
    We have lots of greens recipes, since we are growers.

    What a delicious use of chard!

    –Your friendly farmers at Cut `n Clean Greens

    • lizthechef March 9, 2012 at 10:15 am #

      Wonderful – glad to discover and “like” your facebook page.

  6. Nancy Rose Eisman March 9, 2012 at 10:29 am #

    This recipe looks fantastic. Healthy ingredients + a variety of flavors and textures = delicious. P.S. Tell your friend Susan I’m available for encouragement on her vegetarian quest!

    • lizthechef March 9, 2012 at 10:30 am #

      Sure, Nancy – thanks for stopping by.

  7. apuginthekitchen March 9, 2012 at 10:47 am #

    Gorgeous, I love chard and am with you on not discarding the colorful spine. What do you think about using dried cranberries instead of raisins?

    • lizthechef March 9, 2012 at 11:38 am #

      Love your idea about cranberries – prefer to the raisins for certain.

      • apuginthekitchen March 9, 2012 at 11:47 am #

        I asked because I am not fond of raisins. Going to make this with the cranberries, great recipe.

  8. casacks March 9, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Liz, that dish is so colorful and inspiring. I fell hard for chard this year, too. Lovely post!

  9. TasteFood March 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    Lovely recipe. The raisins sound great with the chard.

  10. juniakk @ mis pensamientos March 9, 2012 at 9:51 pm #

    wonderful salad especially with the touch of toasted cashews. 🙂 i haven’t had swiss chard in awhile. this might be my inspiration!

    • lizthechef March 10, 2012 at 9:31 am #

      The blog hop is so fun – thanks for all your efforts. Wonder what our theme will be for April? Asparagus? Strawberries?

  11. Lana March 10, 2012 at 12:45 am #

    Just looking at those colors and imagining the flavor combination is enough to make me want to run to the farmers; market and grab a bunch of Rainbow Chard (but I can’t because it’s past midnight:)
    We ate mostly sauerkraut, radishes, and frozen spinach in the winter, but in spring and summer there was always chard (and sorrel:) It is the best vegetable to plant, because it just keeps on giving: the more you cut, the faster it grows. I love it!
    You are lucky that Larry likes raisins in his food – I have a few family members that frown upon raisins, and I sometimes have to make two batches not to miss out on their goodness:)
    Great salad, Liz!

    • lizthechef March 10, 2012 at 9:30 am #

      Yes, the colors really draw me in too –

  12. The Wimpy Vegetarian March 10, 2012 at 3:00 pm #

    First of all, I love your photos!!! They are so colorful, they just jump out at me. Great job. And I love this recipe. I’ve been so busy this week, I haven’t been able to spend much time in the kitchen – or online. Raisins, or anything sweet is so wonderful with chard, and the cashews would add the perfect crunch. Sending you lots of #greenslove, girlfriend!

    • lizthechef March 10, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

      Hey Susan, just bought a camera bag – wish we could have time to “shoot” together – thanks for your comment, of course! #greenslove indeed…

  13. smartfoodandfit March 11, 2012 at 4:17 pm #

    This is a lovely salad perfect as a side dish. Visiting from greenslove bloghop!

    • lizthechef March 11, 2012 at 4:45 pm #

      Hi – Now I will visit your site!

  14. reciperenovator March 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm #

    Yum! A recipe I don’t have to renovate one little bit. And, bonus points for excellent verb choice: studded. Dianne would be proud. 🙂

  15. Oui, Chef March 15, 2012 at 7:00 am #

    This sounds and looks delicious. I love the addition of the maple syrup and vinegar…yum, I can taste it now.

  16. current vintage March 23, 2012 at 8:59 am #

    Liz, this looks delicious! Perfect for my vegetable craving that I seem to be experiencing non stop. You should enter this in the F52 maple syrup contest. The addition of the maple syrup is genius. I love the tang it adds.

    • lizthechef March 23, 2012 at 11:14 am #

      Say, that’s an idea about the food52 contest…Thanks, Mare –

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