I have never bought any kind of chard in my life. So, when I got a bunch of beautiful rainbow chard in my Bountiful Basket, I had to do a little research. I’d seen it used on cooking shows before. And everything I read said that you could use it pretty much anywhere you would use kale. I knew that I wanted to use those beautifully colored stalks. I decided the best use would be to pair it with a protein and make it a main dish. I make a soup with Italian sausage and kale, so I figured that would be a good bet. I started chopping stuff up, tossed it in the skillet and what came out was delicious. I served it with butter and garlic whole wheat spaghetti. My 3 year old called it leaves and worms and gobbled it up. My 6 year old had seconds (and maybe thirds). In my book, that’s a major win. I diced a couple of small red potatoes in this recipe. Honestly, this would be just as good (and maybe even better) without them, but I had some I needed to use.
Start by browning a pound of Italian sausage in a hot skillet. I use mild Italian sausage because my kids prefer it. This dish would be great with either mild or hot. I don’t use any oil in the skillet. The sausage cooks out enough oil for the entire dish. Don’t be afraid to let it get nice and brown. Crumble it into the hot pan and walk away for a minute or two. If you stir it around too much, your sausage will be all grey and, honestly, missing a flavor that only a good browning can give. I tried to take a picture of this, but all of the shots I took were too close up and looked decidedly unappealing.
When the sausage is nice and brown, add onion, garlic, bell pepper and potatoes (if you’re using them) and sautee until onions are translucent and potatoes start to soften. Use a little white wine or chicken stock (or even water) to deglaze the pan. Once you’ve loosened all the little brown bits off the bottom of the pan, add the chard to the top of the pan, cover with a lid and reduce heat to low. Let this cook with the lid on for about 5 minutes. Remove lid and stir. Season with a dash or two of nutmeg and some salt and pepper to taste before serving.
1 pound Italian sausage
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 small bell pepper, seeded and diced
2 small red potatoes, diced (optional)
1/4 cup chicken stock or white wine
1 bunch rainbow chard, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Place a large, heavy bottomed skillet over high heat. Crumble Italian sausage into skillet and brown, stirring occasionally. When sausage is brown, add garlic, onion, bell pepper and red potato. Saute over high heat until onion is translucent and potatoes are almost cooked through. Deglaze pan with stock or wine, stirring to release brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Add chopped chard on top of meat mixture, cover with lid, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes. Remove lit, stir, season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.