When I first tried this dish at an Italian restaurant I just about died. I honestly never really liked swiss chard. But, this swiss chard with pancetta recipe adds salty with the pancetta and sweet with the golden raisins to make one of my favorite veggie dishes. You will be surprised how good it is.
I had never developed a taste for swiss chard because it was a bit too bitter for me. All that pesky calcium tends to make some greens very bitter. When you add golden raisins, it removes the bitterness of the greens. The salty from the pancetta combined with the sweetness of the raisins hits your tastebuds on all cylinders. Love this dish!!!
Chard is a unique source of phytonutrients called betalains. The betalain family of phytonutrients include reddish-purple betacyanin pigments as well as yellowish betaxanthin pigments. Both types can be found in chard! In the red stems and veins of chard, scientists have identified at least 9 betacyanin pigments, including betanin, isobetanin, betanidin, and isobetanidin. In the yellowish stems and veins, at least 19 betaxanthin pigments have been identified! These pigments in swiss chard have been shown to provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and detoxification support. The detox benefits provided by betalains includes support of Phase 2 detox steps involving glutathione. You know I’m all about detoxing. Why not make detox food taste good, too!
Serves 4-6 | Prep time 15 min | Cook time 15 min
- 2 pounds Swiss chard
- 1/2 cup (2 oz.) chopped pancetta
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cut Swiss chard into 1/2 inch stem pieces and 2 inch leaf ribbons.
Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook pancetta, stirring, until crispy, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic, raisins and chard stems and ribs and cook until slightly softened, about 4 minutes.
Add chard leaves, salt and pepper. Cover pot and cook for about 6 minutes until wilted, stirring occasionally.