I created this recipe because of all the greens I kept seeing around in the winter famers market in London. I have a passion for Cavolo Nero, which I discovered while living in Italy. It is eaten a lot in the winter in Tuscany and they have this very traditional soup they make out of it. Cavolo Nero leaves reminds me of dinosaur skin! But don’t let that scare you. It is extremely tasty and gave me the courage to rethink greens in general. So I tried cooking the beautiful rainbow chard the same way I do the Cavolo Nero and it came out quite lovely indeed. I added some roasted Kale for texture and crunch. I have been cooking this dish a lot for myself lately. It is also a good hangover cure, believe it or not, as it replenishes your system with loads of vitamins and minerals. It’s also great to eat when you have a cold for the same reasons. It packs in vitamins C, E, K, Beta Carotine, Calcium, Zinc, and lots of phytonutrients. It is considered to be one of the healthiest vegetables out there, and is second only to spinach.
About 6 large Chard leaves/with stems
2 handfuls of kale/red if you can find it as it is the sweetest
5-6 black olives torn
2 cloves of garlic slivered fine
1 chili diced fine
1 teaspoon of sherry vinegar
½ teaspoon of concentrated balsamic
2 teaspoons of olive oil
handful pumpkin seeds
handful of chopped basil
salt and pepper to taste
optional: ½ teaspoon honey or agave
Rinse your leaves off really well. Take a knife and cut into the stem a long very thin rectangle going from bottom to top. Leaving some of the brightly colored stem on each side for color. Take a large pot and fill it with about ½” of water and a generous toss of salt.
Turn your broiler on and prepare a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Rinse your kale and tear away all the thick stems. Toss it in a bowl with 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil and some salt. Place in your broiler for about 4 to 5 minutes, tossing once. Set aside.
Cut your chilis and garlic. Boil your salted water. Put your chard into the water and turn around in the with a spatula until it is entirely wet. Turn the heat down to medium and put a lid on it to steam. About 3 minutes in, add your chilis and garlic and toss.
In the meantime, prepare your dressing. Add the lemon, vinegars, olives, olive oil, and seeds. Mix well. If it is not sweet enough, add a tiny bit of agave or honey to taste.
Pour the dressing in a large bowl with the basil.
After your chard has been steaming for about 5 minutes, pull out of the pot. If there is left over liquid, strain through a steaming basket. Roll it all up into a long sausage shape and slice like you would basil leaves. Add your chard and kale to the bowl with the dressing and seeds. Toss well to coat.