Bracing against the downpour, I went to Monterey Market this afternoon looking for some inspiration. You could feel the seasonal limbo on the shelves: "early girl" tomatoes seemed terribly confused, but the enormous pumpkin pile grounded me firmly in October.
Because of the gray skies, I went looking for color. I found a rainbow in the local chard.
1 large bunch rainbow chard
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Wash chard and trim off ragged ends of stem. Separate stems from leaves. Don't dry leaves - the water droplets will help with the steaming later. Slice stems into 1/4 inch pieces. Roughly chop leaves and set aside.
Saute stems in olive oil over medium high heat. Cook for 10 minutes or so, until tender.
Thinly slice garlic and add to pan after stems are tender. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Do not let garlic brown.
Add chopped leaves to the stems and garlic. Toss to coat. Cover and turn down heat to medium-low so that leaves can gently steam for 10 minutes or so, until everything is just done. Greens should still be nice and green, but cooked through.
Serve chard and pass the Parmesan around the table. You shouldn't need any salt with this dish.
This is our family's standard chard dish - a simple favorite.